Let the bird of loudest lay,
On the sole Arabian tree,
Herald sad and trumpet be,
To whose sound chaste wings obey.
 
But thou, shrieking harbinger,
Foul pre-currer of the fiend,
Augur of the fever’s end,
To this troop come thou not near.
 
From this session interdict
Every fowl of tyrant wing,
Save the eagle, feather’d king:
Keep the obsequy so strict.
 
Let the priest in surplice white,
That defunctive music can,
Be the death-divining swan,
Lest the requiem lack his right.
 
And thou, treble-dated crow,
That thy sable gender mak’st
With the breath thou giv’st and tak’st,
'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go.
 
Here the anthem doth commence:
Love and constancy is dead;
Phoenix and the turtle fled
In a mutual flame from hence.
 
So they lov’d, as love in twain
Had the essence but in one;
Two distincts, division none:
Number there in love was slain.
 
Hearts remote, yet not asunder;
Distance, and no space was seen
'Twixt the turtle and his queen;
But in them it were a wonder.
 
So between them love did shine,
That the turtle saw his right
Flaming in the phoenix’ sight:
Either was the other’s mine.
 
Property was thus appall’d,
That the self was not the same;
Single nature’s double name
Neither two nor one was call’d.
 
Reason, in itself confounded,
Saw division grow together;
To themselves yet either-neither,
Simple were so well compounded.
 
That it cried how true a twain
Seemeth this concordant one!
Love hath reason, reason none
If what parts can so remain.
 
Whereupon it made this threne
To the phoenix and the dove,
Co-supreme and stars of love;
As chorus to their tragic scene.
 
THRENOS.
 
Beauty, truth, and rarity.
Grace in all simplicity,
Here enclos’d in cinders lie.
 
Death is now the phoenix’ nest;
And the turtle’s loyal breast
To eternity doth rest,
 
Leaving no posterity:-
‘Twas not their infirmity,
It was married chastity.
 
Truth may seem, but cannot be:
Beauty brag, but ’tis not she;
Truth and beauty buried be.
 
To this urn let those repair
That are either true or fair;
For these dead birds sigh a prayer.

  • 0
  • 0
  •  
  •  
Login to comment...
Email

Other works by William Shakespeare...

Some poets who follow William Shakespeare...

KVO Michelle Cummins Daniel Sierra Marnie Lawson sulamita™ Kevin Vicent