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Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Hamlet (Quarto 1, 1603)

Prince of Denmarke.
Lend thy listning eare, but that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison house
700I would a tale vnfold, whose lightest 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
705Like quils vpon the fretfull Porpentine,
But this same blazon must not be, to eares of flesh and blood
Hamlet, if euer thou didst thy deere father loue.
Ham. O God.
710Gho. Reuenge his foule, and most vnnaturall murder:
Ham. Murder.
Ghost Yea, murder in the highest degree,
As in the least tis bad,
But mine most foule, beastly, and vnnaturall.
Ham. Haste me to knowe it, that with wings as swift as
meditation, or the thought of it, may sweepe to my reuenge.
Ghost O I finde thee apt, and duller shouldst thou be
Then the fat weede which rootes it selfe in ease
720On 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 Prosses of my death rankely abusde:
725But know thou noble Youth: he that did sting
Thy fathers heart, now weares his Crowne.
Ham. O my prophetike soule, my vncle! my vncle!
Ghost Yea he, that incestuous wretch, wonne to his will (with gifts,
O wicked will, and gifts! that haue the power
So to seduce my most seeming vertuous Queene,
But vertne, as it neuer will be moued,
740Though Lewdnesse court it in a shape of heauen,
So Lust, thought to a radiant angle linckt,
Would fate it selfe from a celestiall bedde,
And prey on garbage: but soft, me thinkes
I sent the mornings ayre, briefe let me be,