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Full Fathom Five by William Shakespeare

So as not to be a complete liar after this morning's post promising a poem today, I'm going with one of Ariel's songs from The Tempest. It's a play I've not yet read. Ever. But I'm going to be reading now that Brush Up Your Shakespeare Month is over and I have time to do so, based on the incorporation of the character of Ariel (and a brief appearance by Prospero) in Lisa Mantchev's Eyes Like Stars, which I reviewed last week. I had heard the lines that start the second song that Ariel sings in Act I, scene 2 before, however (by which I mean before I read Lisa's book). "Full fathom five thy father lies . . . "

I say the "second song", even though some people believe it's a second verse to "Come Unto These Yellow Sands" because the rhyme scheme and verse structure are a bit different. Also, a musical setting of "Full Fathom Five" as a separate song has survived from Shakespeare's time to the present, set to music by King James I's lutenist, Robert Johnson, so I rather suspect they had different tunes as originally performed.

Full Fathom Five
by William Shakespeare

Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! now I hear them — Ding-dong, bell.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 1st, 2009 09:08 am (UTC)
Tanita Says :)
:) :) :)
I LOVE That Poem.
I think you'll be intrigued by The Tempest. The whole Caliban thing --

...but no spoilers, here. I just look forward to hearing about it when you're done.
Jul. 1st, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Tanita Says :)
Thank you for not laughing at me when I said that one of the first things I was going to do after Brush Up Your Shakespeare Month was to read another Shakespeare play. You are a good friend.
Jul. 1st, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
OMG I love that poem! (But that probably doesn't surprise you, knowing my feelings about sea nymphs.) :-)
Jul. 1st, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
I'm now hearing an 18th century art song that begins "Nymphs and shepherds, come away" on brainradio. They must be wood nymphs, I guess. But it's all down to you saying nymph.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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