"O Call Back Yesterday, Bid Time Return"

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Last Updated on July 28, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 130

Context: Richard II has returned from Ireland to find that Bolingbroke, his cousin whom he had banished, has returned from banishment and invaded England. As Richard lands, he reassures his followers that his cause is just and therefore favored and assisted by God. "God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay / A glorious angel: then if angels fight, / Weak men must fall, for heaven still guards the right." But in the midst of Richard's unrealistic speech, Salisbury enters and reports the true state of affairs.

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. . .
Discomfort guides my tongue,
And bids me speak of nothing but despair.
One day too late I fear me, noble lord,
Hath clouded all thy happy days on earth.
O call back yesterday, bid time return,
And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting men.
. . .

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