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  • Title: Hamlet (Quarto 1, 1603)
  • Textual editor: Eric Rasmussen
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-434-9

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Hamlet (Quarto 1, 1603)

    Prince of Denmarke.
    Lend thy li stning eare, but that I am forbid
    To tell the secrets of my prison house
    700 I would a tale vnfold, whose lighte st word
    Would harrow vp thy soule, freeze thy yong blood,
    Make thy two eyes like stars start from their spheres,
    Thy knotted and combined locks to part,
    And each particular haire to stand on end
    705 Like quils vpon the fretfull Porpentine,
    But this same blazon mu st not be, to eares of fle sh and blood
    Hamlet, if euer thou did st thy deere father loue.
    Ham. O God.
    710 Gho. Reuenge his foule, and mo st vnnaturall murder:
    Ham. Murder.
    Gho st Yea, murder in the highe st degree,
    As in the lea st tis bad,
    But mine mo st foule, bea stly, and vnnaturall.
    Ham. Ha ste me to knowe it, that with wings as swift as
    meditation, or the thought of it, may sweepe to my reuenge.
    Gho st O I finde thee apt, and duller should st thou be
    Then the fat weede which rootes it selfe in ease
    720 On Lethe wharffe: briefe let me be.
    Tis giuen out, that sleeping in my orchard,
    A Serpent stung me; so the whole eare of Denmarke
    Is with a forged Pro s s es of my death rankely abusde:
    725 But know thou noble Youth: he that did sting
    Thy fathers heart, now weares his Crowne.
    Ham. O my prophetike soule, my vncle! my vncle!
    Gho st Yea he, that ince stuous wretch, wonne to his will (with gifts,
    O wicked will, and gifts! that haue the power
    So to seduce my mo st seeming vertuous Queene,
    But vertne, as it neuer will be moued,
    740 Though Lewdne s s e court it in a shape of heauen,
    So Lu st, thought to a radiant angle linckt,
    Would fate it selfe from a cele stiall bedde,
    And prey on garbage: but soft, me thinkes
    I sent the mornings ayre, briefe let me be,