[Dunsinane castle. Military drums and flags. Enter Macbeth, Seyton (his armorer), and Soldiers]
Hang out our banners on the outward walls.
The cry is still 'They come.' Our castle's strength
Will laugh a siege to scorn. Here let them lie
Till famine and the ague eat them up.
Were they not forced with those that should be ours,
We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
And beat them backward home.
[Seyton goes to see what the cries were about]
It is the cry of women, my good lord.
I have almost forgot the taste of fears.
The time has been, my senses would have cooled
To hear a night-shriek; and my fell of hair
Would, at a dismal treatise, rouse and stir
As life were in't. I have supped full with horrors.
Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts,
The queen, my lord, is dead.
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle.
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
[Enter a Messenger]
Thou comest to use thy tongue – thy story quickly.
I should report that which I say I saw,
But know not how to do it.
As I did stand my watch upon the hill,
I looked toward Birnam, and anon, methought,
Let me endure your wrath if't be not so.
Within this three mile may you see it coming.
Upon the next tree shalt thou hang alive
Till famine cling thee. If thy speech be sooth,
I care not if thou dost for me as much.
I pull in resolution and begin
To doubt the equivocation of the fiend
That lies like truth, 'Fear not till Birnam wood
Do come to Dunsinane', and now a wood
Comes toward Dunsinane. – Arm, arm, and out!
If this which he avouches does appear,
There is nor flying hence nor tarrying here.
I 'gin to be aweary of the sun,
And wish the estate o' the world were now undone –
Ring the alarum-bell. – Blow, wind; come, wrack.
At least we'll die with harness on our back.