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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Songs and Their Settings
Ophelia’s Lament
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
From ‘Hamlet

OPHELIA  [sings]—
        They bore him bare-faced on their bier;
            Hey, non nonny, nonny, hey nonny:
        And in his grave rained many a tear;—
 
Fare you well, my dove!
  Laertes—Hadst thou thy wits, and didst persuade revenge,        5
It could not move thus.
  Ophelia—You must sing, Down a-down, an you call him a-down-a. Oh, how the wheel becomes it! It is the false steward, that stole his master’s daughter.
  Laertes—This nothing’s more than matter.
  Ophelia—There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray you, love, remember: and there is pansies; that’s for thoughts.
  Laertes—A document in madness; thoughts and remembrance fitted.        10
  Ophelia—There’s fennel for you, and columbines;—there’s rue for you; and here’s some for me; we may call it herb of grace o’ Sundays: you may wear your rue with a difference.—There’s a daisy: I would give you some violets; but they withered all when my father died.—They say he made a good end.
 
[Sings]—    For bonny sweet Robin is all my joy.
 
  Laertes—Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,
She turns to favor and to prettiness.
 
  Ophelia  [sings]—    And will he not come again?        15
    And will he not come again?
          No, no, he is dead;
          Gone to his death-bed,
    He never will come again.
    His beard was white as snow,        20
    All flaxen was his poll;
          He is gone, he is gone,
          And we cast away moan:
    God ha’ mercy on his soul!
    And of all Christian souls! I pray God.—God be wi’ you!  [Exit Ophelia, dancing distractedly.        25
 
 
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