By William Shakespeare
For this re-creation, first released in 1971, Ted Hughes augmented his unique collection of Shakespeare's poems and dramatic speeches and entirely rewrote his accompanying essay, aspiring to repair to the typical reader a lot of what, in Shakespeare, used to be instinctively to be had to the viewers of his day, and to teach how Shakespeare's language unites in its sinews and substance the entire diversity of Elizabethan preoccupations, philosophical and social.
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Extra info for A Choice of Shakespeare's Verse
I wept, which I did not expect to do. That's the story best as I can tell it. I'd like to sleep in but still wake at four my tongue outstretched where Babel has been razed. We've sold his library to pay his debts and buy Deborah that harpsichord inside. < previous page page_27 next page > < previous page page_28 next page > Page 28 Well, sir, you may enter at your leisure. We're grateful for your visit, but I didn't hear your name. Peter? That is strange, In "Lycidas," St. Pewell, never mind. You've come for Papa, he's laid out within.
We saw the parallels, but we, not him, braced against the walls and dreamt of rupture. Then came the birdless Monday when he moaned: "I'm dying. " He did, but it was not, praised be the Lord. That was three days ago. The layer out then bathed his body, strapped him to a board, and tied his legs so his soul couldn't walk. Blue fingers were so curled into his palm we kept them straight by fixing them to sticks. We tied his goitered chin so Lucifer and witches couldn't coven on his tongue. We placed two copper pennies on the eyes that nevermore would see they couldn't see.
If you chance to pass this way again, we plan to keep a lively parlor now. Perhaps some whist? You could be our fourth, if you desire. Now that you know the path, please do return to join our company. < previous page page_28 next page > < previous page page_29 next page > Page 29 The Passing (After "Woman Reading" by Frank W. Benson) I. The Painter The painter reads the shoulder-shadow dimming the nameless book the model holds as she poses, turned from the window. The tip of his brush strokes the place where the back of her ear meets her neck.