[To Juliet.] If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this,
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.
Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?
Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.
O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do:
They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.
Then move not while my prayer’s effect I take.
Thus from my lips, by thine my sin is purg’d.
Then have my lips the sin that they have took.
Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urg’d!
Give me my sin again.
You kiss by the book.
Madam, your mother craves a word with you.
What is her mother?
Her mother is the lady of the house,
And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous.
I nurs’d her daughter that you talk’d withal.
I tell you, he that can lay hold of her
Shall have the chinks.
Is she a Capulet?
O dear account! My life is my foe’s debt.
Away, be gone; the sport is at the best.
Ay, so I fear; the more is my unrest.
[Exeunt all but Juliet and Nurse.]
Come hither, Nurse. What is yond gentleman?
The son and heir of old Tiberio.
What’s he that now is going out of door?
Marry, that I think be young Petruchio.
What’s he that follows here, that would not dance?
I know not.
Go ask his name. If he be married,
My grave is like to be my wedding bed.
His name is Romeo, and a Montague,
The only son of your great enemy.
My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy.
What’s this? What’s this?
A rhyme I learn’d even now
Of one I danc’d withal.
[One calls within, ‘Juliet’.]
Come let’s away, the strangers all are gone.
But to be frank and give it thee again.
And yet I wish but for the thing I have;
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.
I hear some noise within. Dear love, adieu.
[Nurse calls within.]
Anon, good Nurse! — Sweet Montague be true.
Stay but a little, I will come again.
O blessed, blessed night. I am afeard,
Being in night, all this is but a dream,
Too flattering sweet to be substantial.
Enter Juliet above.
Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.
If that thy bent of love be honourable,
Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow,
By one that I’ll procure to come to thee,
Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite,
And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay
And follow thee my lord throughout the world.
Ah, dear Juliet,
Why art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe
That unsubstantial death is amorous;
And that the lean abhorred monster keeps
Thee here in dark to be his paramour?
For fear of that I still will stay with thee,
And never from this palace of dim night
Depart again. Here, here will I remain
With worms that are thy chambermaids. O, here
Will I set up my everlasting rest;
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last.
Arms, take your last embrace! And, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death.
Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide.
Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on
The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark.
Here’s to my love! [Drinks.] O true apothecary!
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.
O comfortable Friar, where is my lord?
I do remember well where I should be,
And there I am. Where is my Romeo?
I hear some noise. Lady, come from that nest
Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep.
A greater power than we can contradict
Hath thwarted our intents. Come, come away.
Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead;
And Paris too. Come, I’ll dispose of thee
Among a sisterhood of holy nuns.
Stay not to question, for the watch is coming.
Come, go, good Juliet. I dare no longer stay.
Go, get thee hence, for I will not away.
[Exit Friar Lawrence.]
What’s here? A cup clos’d in my true love’s hand?
Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end.
O churl. Drink all, and left no friendly drop
To help me after? I will kiss thy lips.
Haply some poison yet doth hang on them,
To make me die with a restorative.
Thy lips are warm!
[Within.] Lead, boy. Which way?
Yea, noise? Then I’ll be brief. O happy dagger.
[Snatching Romeo’s dagger.]
This is thy sheath.
There rest, and let me die.
I find him in Verona, amongst the graveyard’s ashen-faced time-torn tombstones, where ghosts of Fate-shattered lovers charge at each other again and howling again, seeking in vain that union that alone to bodies corporeal belongs.
Amble Whistletown, a flask of medicinally-strong hibiscus, rosehips, peppermint and spearmint tea open atop the flat of an outstretched palm. Amble Whistletown, his neck and head leaned against a white marble headstone, inscription worn off and tilted by the shifting earth some 43 degrees away from its original perpendicular. Amble Whistletown, sprawled over the thick, long, sharp-edged but body-soft dew-damp grasses. Amble Whistletown, ten feet above the bones of a long-dead idea.
I find him in Verona, alone as always, blinking in the clear springtime morning light. The sloshing pitter-patter of the gentle Adige trickling through his ears, running over the rustle of the cemetery wood and the hop-hop chirp-cheep of a nearby bird.
“I”, he begins, drunk from the swirling melange of tartly sweet hibiscus/rosehips and astringently expansive peppermint/spearmint and the bone-exhaustion of always always always and always alone.
“I can’t stop the evil in myself or in the world. I can’t stop the evil in my life or in my land. I can’t stop the evil because I just want to escape all good and evil, everything that isn’t my wife’s fire burning next to mine, everything that isn’t her love and our security, everything that isn’t animal thriving and beastly safety. Where is my wife? Where is my heart? Where can I learn to be myself? And this world, this world I forsake for the sake of the slaking of a thirst too long untended. So cruel am I, as cruel as the rest, and so you get what we have here, which is a failure to share those very purposes which we in truth and in our depths do all share. But take me down, sink me beneath this rusty grave, wed me again to the love I would’ve lost had I ever loved, tie me forever into those bones that would had squished her flesh against mine, let me confess myself nothing but a little lonely beaten boy.”
Author: Mostly Shakespeare, but at the end Bartleby Willard
Editor of that portion: Amble Whistletown
Copyright of that portion: AM Watson
God of it all: ah, ah, where?, where?