Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 2, 1604)

The Tragedie of Hamlet
Ghost. Pitty me not, but lend thy serious hearing
690To what I shall vnfold.
Ham. Speake, I am bound to heare.
Ghost. So art thou to reuenge, when thou shalt heare.
Ham. What?
Ghost. I am thy fathers spirit,
695Doomd for a certaine tearme to walke the night,
And for the day confind to fast in fires,
Till the foule crimes done in my dayes of nature
Are burnt and purg'd away: but that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison house,
700I could a tale vnfolde whose lightest word
Would harrow vp thy soule, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes like stars start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
And each particuler haire to stand an end,
705Like quils vpon the fearefull Porpentine,
But this eternall blazon must not be
To eares of flesh and blood, list, list, ô list:
If thou did'st euer thy deare father loue.
Ham. O God.
710Ghost. Reuenge his foule, and most vnnaturall murther.
Ham. Murther.
Ghost. Murther most foule, as in the best it is,
But this most foule, strange and vnnaturall.
Ham. Hast me to know't, that I with wings as swift
As meditation, or the thoughts of loue
May sweepe to my reuenge.
Ghost. I find thee apt,
And duller shouldst thou be then the fat weede
720That rootes it selfe in ease on Lethe wharffe,
Would'st thou not sturre in this; now Hamlet heare,
Tis giuen out, that sleeping in my Orchard,
A Serpent stung me, so the whole eare of Denmarke
Is by a forged processe of my death
725Ranckely abusde: but knowe thou noble Youth,
The Serpent that did sting thy fathers life
Now weares his Crowne.
Ham. O my propheticke soule! my Vncle?