Act V - Act V, Scene 2
SCENE II. A Field of Battle near Barnet.
[Alarum and excursions. Enter KING EDWARD, bringing in
So, lie thou there; die thou, and die our fear,
For Warwick was a bug that fear'd us all.--
Now, Montague, sit fast; I seek for thee,
That Warwick's bones may keep thine company.
Ah! who is nigh? come to me, friend or foe,
And tell me who is victor, York or Warwick.
Why ask I that? my mangled body shows;
My blood, my want of strength, my sick heart shows
That I must yield my body to the earth
And, by my fall, the conquest to my foe.
Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge,
Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle,
Under whose shade the ramping lion slept,
Whose top-branch overpeer'd Jove's spreading tree,
And kept low shrubs from winter's pow'rful wind.
These eyes, that now are dimm'd with death's black veil,
Have been as piercing as the midday sun,
To search the secret treasons of the world;
The wrinkles in my brows, now fill'd with blood,
Were liken'd oft to kingly sepulchres,
For who liv'd king but I could dig his grave?
And who durst smile when Warwick bent his brow?
Lo, now my glory smear'd in dust and blood!
My parks, my walks, my manors that I had,
Even now forsake me, and of all my lands
Is nothing left me but my body's length.
Why, what is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust?
And live we how we can, yet die we must.
[Enter OXFORD and SOMERSET.]
Ah, Warwick, Warwick! wert thou as we are,
We might recover all our loss again.
The queen from France hath brought a puissant power;
Even now we heard the news. Ah, couldst thou fly!
Why, then I would not fly.--Ah, Montague!
If thou be there, sweet brother, take my hand
And with thy lips keep in my soul awhile.
Thou lov'st me not; for, brother, if thou did'st,
Thy tears would wash this cold, congealed blood
That glues my lips and will not let me speak.
Come quickly, Montague, or I am dead.
Ah, Warwick, Montague hath breath'd his last,
And to the latest gasp cried out for Warwick,
And said 'Commend me to my valiant brother.'
And more he would have said, and more he spoke,
Which sounded like a clamour in a vault,
That might not be distinguish'd; but at last
I well might hear, delivered with a groan,--
'O farewell, Warwick!'
Sweet rest his soul!--Fly, lords, and save yourselves;
For Warwick bids you all farewell, to meet in heaven.
Away, away, to meet the queen's great power!
[Exeunt bearing off Warwick's body.]
— Wesley, Owl Eyes Editor
"To breathe out one's last" implies that someone or something has expired or died. When the Duke of Somerset tells Warwick that Montague has "breathed his last," meaning that Montague has drawn his last breath or expired his "latest gasp." With the news of his brother's death, Warwick also perishes and the War of the Roses enters its penultimate act.