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Being Wednesday, I thought it might be a good day for a post related to the Bard. So I bring you the opening of Act IV, Scene 1 from Macbeth:

SCENE I. A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.

Thunder. Enter the three Witches

First Witch
Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed.

Second Witch
Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.

Third Witch
Harpier cries 'Tis time, 'tis time.

First Witch
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poisoned entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Sweltered venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Third Witch
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravined salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digged i' the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silvered in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-delivered by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch
Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Enter HECATE to the other three Witches

O well done! I commend your pains;
And every one shall share i' the gains;
And now about the cauldron sing,
Live elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.

Music and a song: 'Black spirits,' & c

HECATE retires

Second Witch
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks!


If you'd like to read my summary of the entire play, you can read it in this post I wrote a while back for Brush Up Your Shakespeare Month.

Meanwhile, a friend posted this image from tumblr to my Facebook wall the other day, and now I'm trying to chase down the original artwork. Anyone who's read the book will immediately recognize the girl wielding the cast-iron frying pan as Tiffany Aching, who first appears in The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. I would really truly like a mousepad with this image on it - and the text, too - if I could track down the artist to buy one (or gain permission):

And now, by the pricking of my thumbs, I've got stuff that must get done.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 19th, 2014 11:19 pm (UTC)
I didn't know this famous witch chant was a Shakespeare!

How many times did I hear cartoon witches do some parody of this... And I nev knew.
Pamela L Gay
May. 16th, 2015 02:51 am (UTC)
Any success?
I'm trying to find this image for the same reasons. Did you ever have any success?
May. 17th, 2015 05:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Any success?
Not so far, but I'm hoping to find it SOME day!!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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