Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Hamlet to Yorick (2004)

Content yourselves I mention him
in the offal pile heaped next
to the grave of starry love.
All of him
that remains is the huge skull
still reeking of a man’s death
and this reel of memories
spooling from much happier
days. Ah Yorick! Such a big
fool, lumbering through the court
with my boyish self perched
on his shoulders. Whenever
I rode there I felt as if I could
cross the Irish Sea. Those
hours spent in play with the man
were the mint of every worthy
song and jest, the quintessence
of glinting eye and wide-as-life
smile. Now dust and ruin
are your countenance. I wonder
if Death employs a fool
in the darkened courts below.
A handsome man perhaps,
the apple of every beloved’s
eye ... only such unblemished,
sunny fare could turn those
gray rules upside down, and
ride the black horses round
the court of Dis where spirits
pine. Yorick, can you fool in
Death what living souls so prize
when their living hour is spent?
No more of that merry moon
agleam on the rivers of
your eyes; no more foolery
in the hallows which now
reside there. But then, I’m
not a merry man anymore.
In that fresh grave from which
your skull was pried lies a
woman who for lack of my
use of you went madder than I
and settled down the drowning
pool of her hair, like poppies
in the gloom. Her pale eyes
stared back awhile before
settling in that gloom, departing
from this weary shore. Ah Yorick,
amuse her while she sleeps
and I will write a masque
to make a fool of kings,
a deadly minstrel show
correcting what too long
had erred when you took
cap and bells elsewhere.
I could never stand as tall
as you, but on your vapored
shoulders do now ride -- the
words, old master, the words!
Make every doorway hard
to clear! Pour your physic
into presumption’s ear.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Hit Counter
Internet Service Provider