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Romeo and Juliet (1594-1595)


What, rouse thee, man! Thy Juliet is alive,

For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead:

There art thou happy. Tybalt would kill thee,

But thou slewest Tybalt: there art thou happy.

The law that threat’ned death becomes thy friend,

And turns to exile: there are thou happy.

A pack of blessings light upon thy back,

Happiness courts thee in her best array,

But like a misbehaved and sullen wench

Thou pouts upon thy fortune and thy love.

Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.

Go get thee to thy love as was decreed,

Ascend her chamber, hence and comfort her.

III. iii.135-147


In the early morning, her white belly.

Love and death have their own formalities.


How often in our triumph we begin our fall,

how often wisdom is glanced at and passed over.


How often a quick bright thing becomes confusion,

cut-glass crystals over-illuminated by the sun.


How often portents in the stars or in dreams

foretell what we should have known already.


But the Muse lately sings some other where.

She sleeps, or else says nothing.



[Excerpt from The Shakespeare Poems by Randy Roark. Originally published in NHS 2012, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs12/.]