Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology

Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
From the Tempest, Act IV

William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
Shakespeare bids adieu to the stage.

YOU 1 do look, my son, in a movèd sort,
As if you were dismay’d; be cheerful, sir:
Our revels now are ended: these our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:        5
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloudcapp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea all which it inherit, shall dissolve;
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,        10
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.—Sir, I am vexed;
Bear with my weakness; my old brain is troubled:
Be not disturbed with my infirmity.        15
If you be pleased, retire into my cell
And there repose: a turn or two I’ll walk
To still my beating mind.
Note 1. Shakespeare. ‘Tempest’. Act IV. Prospero is speaking to Ferdinand. [back]

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