October 30, 2006
A TOUCH OF SHAKESPEARE 1564-1616
Firstly, do not make old Bill angry. From The Tempest, ActI Scene II:
Fill all thy bones with aches.
From Henry V. A favorite of mine.
Band of Brothers
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,
And say, These wounds I had on Crispin’s day
Old men forget, yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names
Familiar in their mouths as household words,-
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloster,-
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered
This story shall the good man teach his son,
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered,-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers,
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother, be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition,
And gentlemen in England now a-bed,
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap while any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
Shakespeare sonnets that to my unschooled ear make me wish I were an actor. Every actor must want to speak some lines like these:
Have you not heard it said full oft, a woman’s nay doth stand for naught? Ibid xiv.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments: love is not love which alters when it alteration finds. Sonnet cxvi
That time of year thou may’st in me behold, when yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hand upon those boughs which shake against the cold,- bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. Sonnet lxxiii
My grief lies onward and my joy behind. Sonnet I
Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear. Venus and Adonis, Line 145
Farewell! Thou art too dear for my possessing. Sonnet lxxxvii