Brooke - Modernised edition

















   For since in life no hope

        of long abode I have,

But now am come unto the brink

        of my appointed grave,

   And that my death draws near,

        whose stripe I may not shun,

But shall be called to make account

        of all that I have done,

   Now ought I from henceforth

        more deeply print in mind

The judgment of the Lord, than when

        youth’s folly made me blind,

   When love and fond desire

        were boiling in my breast,

Whence hope and dread by striving thoughts

        had banished friendly rest.

161. The friar tells

Juliet why he wants to

help her.












































   Know therefore, daughter, that

        with other gifts which I

Have well attainéd to, by grace

        and favour of the sky,

   Long since I did find out,

        and yet the way I know

Of certain roots and savoury herbs

        to make a kind of dough,

   Which bakéd hard, and beat

        into a powder fine,

And drunk with conduit water, or

        with any kind of wine,

   It doth in half an hour

        astone the taker so,

And mast’reth all his senses, that

        he feeleth weal nor woe:

   And so it burieth up

        the sprite and living breath,

That even the skilful leech would say,

        that he is slain by death.

   One virtue more it hath,

        as marvellous as this;

The taker, by receiving it,

        at all not grievéd is;

   But painless as a man

        that thinketh nought at all,

Into a sweet and quiet sleep

        immediately doth fall;

   From which, according to

        the quantity he taketh,

Longer or shorter is the time

        before the sleeper waketh;

   And thence, th’effect once wrought,

        again it doth restore

Him that received unto the state

        wherein he was before.

162. The friar

describes the

wonderful effects of

the sleeping potion he

is about to give to









































































   Wherefore, mark well the end

        of this my tale begun,

And thereby learn what is by thee

        hereafter to be done.

   Cast off from thee at once

        the weed of womanish dread,

With manly courage arm thyself

        from heel unto the head;

   For only on the fear

        or boldness of thy breast

The happy hap or ill mishap

        of thy affair doth rest.

   Receive this vial small

        and keep it as thine eye;

And on thy marriage day, before

        the sun do clear the sky,

   Fill it with water full

        up to the very brim,

Then drink it off, and thou shalt feel

        throughout each vein and limb

   A pleasant slumber slide,

        and quite dispread at length

On all thy parts, from every part

        reave all thy kindly strength;

   Withouten moving thus

        thy idle parts shall rest,

No pulse shall go, ne heart once beat

        within thy hollow breast,

   But thou shalt lie as she

        that dieth in a trance:

Thy kinsmen and thy trusty friends

        shall wail the sudden chance;

   Thy corpse then will they bring

        to grave in this churchyard,

Where thy forefathers long ago

        a costly tomb prepared,

   Both for themselves and eke

        for those that should come after,

Both deep it is, and long and large,

        where thou shalt rest, my daughter,

   Till I to Mantua send

        for Romeus, thy knight;

Out of the tomb both he and I

        will take thee forth that night.

   And when out of thy sleep

        thou shalt awake again,

Then may’st thou go with him from hence;

        and, healéd of thy pain,

   In Mantua lead with him

        unknown a pleasant life;

And yet perhaps in time to come,

        when cease shall all the strife,

   And that the peace is made

        ’twixt Romeus and his foes,

Myself may find so fit a time

        these secrets to disclose,

   Both to my praise, and to

        thy tender parents’ joy,

That dangerless, without reproach,

        thou shalt thy love enjoy.”

163. The friar urges

her to take manly

courage and drink the

potion. Then he

illustrates the plan in










































   When of his skilful tale

        the friar had made an end,

To which our Juliet well

        her ear and wits did bend,

   That she hath heard it all

        and hath forgotten nought,

Her fainting heart was comforted

        with hope and pleasant thought,

   And then to him she said:

         “Doubt not but that I will

With stout and unappalléd heart

        your happy hest fulfil.

   Yea, if I wist it were

        a venomous deadly drink,

Rather would I that through my throat

        the certain bane should sink,

   Than I, not drinking it,

        into his hands should fall,

That hath no part of me as yet,

        ne ought to have at all.

   Much more I ought with bold

        and with a willing heart

To greatest danger yield myself,

        and to the deadly smart,

   To come to him on whom

        my life doth wholly stay,

That is my only heart’s delight,

        and so he shall be aye.”

164. Juliet agrees: she

would rather take the

poison than be

married to Paris.





















    “Then go,” quoth he, “my child,

        I pray that God on high

Direct thy foot, and by thy hand

        upon the way thee guy.

   God grant he so confirm

        in thee thy present will,

That no inconstant toy thee let

        thy promise to fulfil.”

165. The friar prays

God to make her

constant in this deed.








































































































   A thousand thanks and more

        our Juliet gave the friar,

And homeward to her father’s house

        joyful she doth retire;

   And as with stately gait

        she passéd through the street,

She saw her mother in the door,

        that with her there would meet,

   In mind to ask if she

        her purpose yet did hold,

In mind also, apart ’twixt them,

        her duty to have told;

   Wherefore with pleasant face,

        and with unwonted cheer,

As soon as she was unto her

        approachéd somewhat near,

   Before the mother spake,

        thus did she first begin:

“Madam, at Saint Francis’ church

        have I this morning bin,

   Where I did make abode

        a longer while, percase,

Than duty would; yet have I not

        been absent from this place

   So long a while, without

        a great and just cause why;

This fruit have I receivéd there,

        my heart, erst like to die,

   Is now revived again,

        and my afflicted breast,

Releaséd from affliction,

        restoréd is to rest.

   For lo, my troubled ghost,

        alas, too sore diseased,

By ghostly counsel and advice

        hath Friar Laurence eased;

   To whom I did at large

        discourse my former life,

And in confession did I tell

        of all our passéd strife;

   Of County Paris’ suit,

        and how my lord, my sire,

By my ungrate and stubborn strife

        I stirréd unto ire;

   But lo, the holy friar

        hath by his ghostly lore

Made me another woman now

        than I had been before.

   By strength of arguments

        he chargéd so my mind,

That, though I sought, no sure defence

        my searching thought could find.

   So forced I was at length

        to yield up witless will,

And promised to be ordered by

        the friar’s praiséd skill.

   Wherefore, albeit I

        had rashly, long before,

The bed and rites of marriage

        for many years forswore,

   Yet mother, now behold

        your daughter at your will,

Ready, if you command her aught,

        your pleasure to fulfil.

   Wherefore in humble wise,

        dear madam, I you pray,

To go unto my lord and sire,

        withouten long delay;

   Of him first pardon crave

        of faults already past,

And show him, if it pleaseth you,

        his child is now at last

   Obedient to his lust

        and to his skilful hest,

And that I will, God lending life,

        on Wednesday next be prest

   To wait on him and you,

        unto th’appointed place,

Where I will, in your hearing, and

        before my father’s face,

   Unto the County give

        my faith and whole assent,

To take him for my lord and spouse;

        thus fully am I bent;

   And that out of your mind

        I may remove all doubt,

Unto my closet fare I now,

        to search and to choose out

   The bravest garments and

        the richest jewels there,

Which, better him to please, I mind

        on Wednesday next to wear;

   For if I did excel

        the famous Grecian rape,

Yet might attire help to amend

        my beauty and my shape.”

166. Juliet thanks the

friar, goes back home,

tells her mother about

her changed mind, and

asks her to inform her













































   The simple mother was

        rapt into great delight;

Not half a word could she bring forth,

        but in this joyful plight

   With nimble foot she ran,

        and with unwonted pace,

Unto her pensive husband, and

        to him with pleasant face

   She told what she had heard,

        and praiseth much the friar,

And joyful tears ran down the cheeks

        of this gray-bearded sire.

   With hands and eyes heaved up

        he thanks God in his heart,

And then he saith: “This is not, wife,

        the friar’s first desart;

   Oft hath he showed to us

        great friendship heretofore,

By helping us at needful times

        with wisdom’s precious lore.

   In all our commonweal

        scarce one is to be found

But is, for some good turn, unto

        this holy father bound.

   Oh that the third part of

        my goods – I do not feign –

But twenty of his passéd years

        might purchase him again!

   So much in recompense

        of friendship would I give,

So much, in faith, his extreme age

        my friendly heart doth grieve.”

167. Lady Capulet

rejoices and informs

her husband, who

greatly praises the

































   These said, the glad old man

        from home go’th straight abroad

And to the stately palace hieth

        where Paris made abode;

   Whom he desires to be

        on Wednesday next his guest,

At Freetown, where he minds to make

        for him a costly feast.

   But lo, the earl saith,

        such feasting were but lost,

And counsels him till marriage-time

        to spare so great a cost,

   For then he knoweth well

        the charges will be great;

The whilst, his heart desireth still

        her sight, and not his meat.

   He craves of Capulet

        that he may straight go see

Fair Juliet; whereto he doth

        right willingly agree.

168. Capulet informs

Paris and invites him

to Freetown to

celebrate, but Paris

suggests to cancel the

feast and only asks to

see Juliet.


































   The mother, warned before,

        her daughter doth prepare;

She warneth and she chargeth her

        that in no wise she spare

   Her courteous speech, her pleasant

        looks, and comely grace,

But liberally to give them forth

        when Paris comes in place:

   Which she as cunningly

        could set forth to the show,

As cunning craftsmen to the sale

        do set their wares on row;

   That ere the County did

        out of her sight depart,

So secretly unwares to him

        she stole away his heart,

   That of his life and death

        the wily wench had power.

And now his longing heart thinks long

        for their appointed hour,

   And with importune suit

        the parents doth he pray

The wedlock knot to knit soon up,

        and haste the marriage day.

169. Juliet’s mother

recommends that she

puts up her best

manners to impress

Paris and win his

heart. He is so seduced

that he wants to haste

the wedding.






























   The wooer hath passed forth

        the first day in this sort,

And many other more than this,

        in pleasure and disport.

   At length the wishéd time

        of long hopéd delight,

As Paris thought, drew near;

        but near approachéd heavy plight.

   Against the bridal day

        the parents did prepare

Such rich attire, such furniture,

        such store of dainty fare,

   That they which did behold

        the same the night before

Did think and say, a man could scarcely

        wish for any more.

   Nothing did seem too dear;

        the dearest things were bought;

And, as the written story saith,

        indeed there wanted nought

   That ’longed to his degree,

        and honour of his stock;

170. Time passes and

the appointed day

approaches. The

richest garments are

bought to Juliet. The

narrator refers to the

written source of his

tale as proof of its


























































But Juliet, the whilst, her thoughts

        within her breast did lock;

   Even from the trusty nurse,

        whose secretness was tried,

The secret counsel of her heart

        the nurse-child seeks to hide.

   For sith, to mock her dame,

        she did not stick to lie,

She thought no sin with show of truth

        to blear her nurse’s eye.

   In chamber secretly

        the tale she ’gan renew,

That at the door she told her dame,

        as though it had been true.

   The flat’ring nurse did praise

        the friar for his skill,

And said that she had done right well

        by wit to order will.

   She setteth forth at large

        the father’s furious rage,

And eke she praiseth much to her

        the second marriage;

   And County Paris now

        she praiseth ten times more,

By wrong, than she herself, by right,

        had Romeus praised before.

   Paris shall dwell there still,

        Romeus shall not return;

What shall it boot her life

        to languish still and mourn?

   The pleasures past before

        she must account as gain;

But if he do return, what then?

        For one she shall have twain.

   The one shall use her as

        his lawful wedded wife,

In wanton love with equal joy

        the other lead his life;

   And best shall she be sped

        of any townish dame,

Of husband and of paramour

        to find her change of game.

   These words and like the nurse

        did speak, in hope to please,

But greatly did these wicked words

        the lady’s mind disease;

171. Juliet is secret

also with the nurse,

 who starts praising

Paris even more than

Romeus before him.












   But aye she hid her wrath,

        and seeméd well content,

When daily did the naughty nurse

        new arguments invent.

172. Juliet feigns to be

content with the

nurse’s advice.
































   But when the bride perceived

        her hour approachéd near,

She sought, the best she could, to feign,

        and tempered so her cheer,

   That by her outward look

        no living wight could guess

Her inward woe; and yet anew

        renewed is her distress.

   Unto her chamber doth

        the pensive wight repair,

And in her hand a percher light

        the nurse bears up the stair.

   In Juliet’s chamber was

        her wonted use to lie;

Wherefore her mistress, dreading that

        she should her work descry,

   As soon as she began

        her pallet to unfold,

Thinking to lie that night where she

        was wont to lie of old,

   Doth gently pray her seek

        her lodging somewhere else;

And, lest she, crafty, should suspect,

        a ready reason tells.

173. Juliet goes to her

chamber and devises

an excuse to send the

nurse away.




























    “Dear friend,” quoth she, “you know

        tomorrow is the day

Of new contract; wherefore, this night,

        my purpose is to pray

   Unto the heavenly minds

        that dwell above the skies,

And order all the course of things

        as they can best devise,

   That they so smile upon

        the doings of tomorrow,

That all the remnant of my life

        may be exempt from sorrow;

   Wherefore, I pray you, leave

        me here alone this night,

But see that you tomorrow come

        before the dawning light,

   For you must curl my hair,

        and set on my attire.”

174. Juliet wants to be

left alone to pray as it

is the night before her















And easily the loving nurse

        did yield to her desire,

   For she within her head

        did cast before no doubt;

She little knew the close attempt

        her nurse-child went about.

175. The nurse leaves

Juliet alone.

































   The nurse departed once,

        the chamber door shut close,

Assuréd that no living wight

        her doing might disclose,

   She pouréd forth into

        the vial of the friar

Water, out of a silver ewer

        that on the board stood by her.

   The sleepy mixture made,

        fair Juliet doth it hide

Under her bolster soft, and so

        unto her bed she hied:

   Where divers novel thoughts

        arise within her head,

And she is so environed

        about with deadly dread,

   That what before she had

        resolved undoubtedly

That same she calleth into doubt;

        and lying doubtfully,

   Whilst honest love did strive

        with dread of deadly pain,

With hands y-wrung, and weeping eyes,

        thus ’gan she to complain:

176. Juliet prepares to

drink the potion but

begins to have doubts.



































    “What, is there any one,

        beneath the heavens high,

So much unfortunate as I?

        so much past hope as I?

   What, am I not myself,

        of all that yet were born,

The deepest drenchéd in despair,

        and most in Fortune’s scorn?

   For lo, the world for me

        hath nothing else to find,

Beside mishap and wretchedness

        and anguish of the mind;

   Since that the cruel cause

        of my unhappiness

Hath put me to this sudden plunge,

        and brought to such distress,

   As, to the end I may

        my name and conscience save,

I must devour the mixéd drink

        that by me here I have,

   Whose working and whose force

        as yet I do not know.”

And of this piteous plaint began

        another doubt to grow:

177. Juliet laments her

















    “What do I know,” quoth she,

         “if that this powder shall

Sooner or later than it should,

        or else, not work at all?

   And then my craft descried

        as open as the day,

The people’s tale and laughing-stock

        shall I remain for aye.”

178. Juliet fears that

the potion will not

work timely or at all.


































    “And what know I,” quoth she,

         “if serpents odious,

And other beasts and worms that are

        of nature venomous,

   That wonted are to lurk

        in dark caves underground,

And commonly, as I have heard,

        in dead men’s tombs are found,

   Shall harm me, yea or nay,

        where I shall lie as dead?

Or how shall I that always have

        in so fresh air been bred,

   Endure the loathsome stink

        of such an heapéd store

Of carcasses not yet consumed,

        and bones that long before

   Intombéd were, where I

        my sleeping-place shall have,

Where all my ancestors do rest,

        my kindred’s common grave?

   Shall not the friar and

        my Romeus, when they come,

Find me, if I awake before,

        y-stifled in the tomb?”

179. She fears serpents

or odious beasts

should appear in the

tomb, or that she

might be stifled by the

foul odour of the
















































   And whilst she in these thoughts

        doth dwell somewhat too long,

The force of her imagining

        anon did wax so strong,

   That she surmised she saw,

        out of the hollow vault,

A grisly thing to look upon,

        the carcass of Tybalt;

   Right in the selfsame sort

        that she few days before

Had seen him in his blood imbrued,

        to death eke wounded sore.

   And then when she again

        within herself had weighed

That quick she should be buried there,

        and by his side be laid,

   All comfortless, for she

        shall living fere have none,

But many a rotten carcass, and

        full many a naked bone;

   Her dainty tender parts

        ’gan shiver all for dread,

Her golden hairs did stand upright

        upon her chillish head.

   Then presséd with the fear

        that she there livéd in,

A sweat as cold as mountain ice

        pierced through her slender skin,

   That with the moisture hath

        wet every part of hers:

And more besides, she vainly thinks,

        whilst vainly thus she fears,

   A thousand bodies dead

        have compassed her about,

And lest they will dismember her

        she greatly stands in doubt.

180. She thinks she

sees the carcass of

Tybalt and the corpses

of her forefathers. (She

is said to have golden




























   But when she felt her strength

        began to wear away,

By little and little, and in her heart

        her fear increaséd aye,

   Dreading that weakness might,

        or foolish cowardice,

Hinder the execution of

        the purposed enterprise,

   As she had frantic been,

        in haste the glass she caught,

And up she drank the mixture quite,

        withouten farther thought.

   Then on her breast she crossed

        her arms long and small,

And so, her senses failing her,

        into a trance did fall.

181. She eventually

drinks the potion and


















































   And when that Phoebus bright

        heaved up his seemly head,

And from the East in open skies

        his glist’ring rays dispread,

   The nurse unshut the door,

        for she the key did keep,

And doubting she had slept too long,

        she thought to break her sleep;

   First softly did she call,

        then louder thus did cry:

“Lady, you sleep too long; the earl

        will raise you by and by.”

   But, wellaway, in vain

        unto the deaf she calls,

She thinks to speak to Juliet,

        but speaketh to the walls.

   If all the dreadful noise

        that might on earth be found,

Or on the roaring seas, or if

        the dreadful thunder’s sound

   Had blown into her ears,

        I think they could not make

The sleeping wight before the time

        by any means awake;

   So were the sprites of life

        shut up, and senses thralled;

Wherewith the seely careful nurse

        was wondrously appalled.

   She thought to daw her now

        as she had done of old,

But lo, she found her parts were stiff

        and more than marble cold;

   Neither at mouth nor nose

        found she recourse of breath;

Two certain arguments were these

        of her untimely death.

182. At dawn the

nurse goes to wake Juliet up.


















   Wherefore, as one distraught,

        she to her mother ran,

With scratchéd face, and hair betorn,

        but no word speak she can,

   At last, with much ado,

         “Dead,” quoth she, “is my child!”

183. The nurse

discovers Juliet

apparently dead and

goes screaming to tell

her mother.














































“Now, out, alas!” the mother cried,

        and as a tiger wild,

   Whose whelps, whilst she is gone

        out of her den to prey,

The hunter greedy of his game

        doth kill or carry away;

   So raging forth she ran

        unto her Juliet’s bed,

And there she found her darling and

        her only comfort dead.

   Then shrieked she out as loud

        as serve her would her breath,

And then, that pity was to hear,

        thus cried she out on Death:

    “Ah cruel Death,” quoth she,

         “that thus against all right,

Hast ended my felicity,

        and robbed my heart’s delight,

   Do now thy worst to me,

        once wreak thy wrath for all,

Even in despite I cry to thee,

        thy vengeance let thou fall.

   Whereto stay I, alas,

        since Juliet is gone?

Whereto live I, since she is dead,

        except to wail and moan?

   Alack, dear child, my tears

        for thee shall never cease;

Even as my days of life increase,

        so shall my plaint increase:

   Such store of sorrow shall

        afflict my tender heart,

That deadly pangs, when they assail

        shall not augment my smart.”

   Then ’gan she so to sob,

        it seemed her heart would brast;

184. Lady Capulet































And while she crieth thus, behold,

        the father at the last,

   The County Paris, and

        of gentlemen a rout,

And ladies of Verona town

        and country round about,

   Both kindreds and allies

        thither apace have pressed,

For by their presence there they sought

        to honour so the feast;

   But when the heavy news

        the bidden guests did hear,

So much they mourned, that who had seen

        their count’nance and their cheer,

   Might easily have judged

        by that that they had seen,

That day the day of wrath and eke

        of pity to have been.

185. Capulet, Paris,

and guests arrive at

the feast and instead

of celebrating they





























   But more than all the rest

        the father’s heart was so

Smit with the heavy news, and so

        shut up with sudden woe,

   That he ne had the power

        his daughter to be-weep,

Ne yet to speak, but long is forced

        his tears and plaint to keep.

   In all the haste he hath

        for skilful leeches sent;

And, hearing of her passéd life,

        they judge with one assent

   The cause of this her death

        was inward care and thought;

And then with double force again

        the doubled sorrows wrought.

186. Juliet’s father

laments more than

anyone else. Doctors

are sent for and it is

determined that she

died of inner care.





































   If ever there hath been

        a lamentable day,

A day ruthful, unfortunate

        and fatal, then I say,

   The same was it in which

        through Verona town was spread

The woeful news how Juliet

        was stervéd in her bed.

   For so she was bemoaned

        both of the young and old,

That it might seem to him that would

        the common plaint behold,

   That all the commonwealth

        did stand in jeopardy;

So universal was the plaint,

        so piteous was the cry.

   For lo, beside her shape

        and native beauty’s hue,

With which, like as she grew in age,

        her virtues’ praises grew,

   She was also so wise,

        so lowly, and so mild,

That even from the hoary head

        unto the witless child,

She wan the hearts of all,

        so that there was not one,

Ne great, ne small, but did that day

        her wretched state bemoan.

187. General

lamentation of the

town over Juliet’s

beautiful body.







































   Whilst Juliet slept, and whilst

        the other weepen thus,

Our Friar Laurence hath by this

        sent one to Romeus,

   A friar of his house,

        there never was a better,

He trusted him even as himself,

        to whom he gave a letter,

   In which he written had

        of everything at length,

That passed ’twixt Juliet and him,

        and of the powder’s strength;

   The next night after that,

        he willeth him to come

To help to take his Juliet

        out of the hollow tomb,

   For by that time the drink,

        he saith, will cease to work,

And for one night his wife and he

        within his cell shall lurk;

   Then shall he carry her

        to Mantua away –

Till fickle Fortune favour him,

        disguised in man’s array.

   This letter closed he sends

        to Romeus by his brother;

He chargeth him that in no case

        he give it any other.

188. In the meantime

the friar has sent

another friar to

Romeus with a letter
















































   Apace our Friar John

        to Mantua him hies;

And, for because in Italy

        it is a wonted guise

   That friars in the town

        should seldom walk alone,

But of their convent aye should be

        accompanied with one

   Of his profession, straight

        a house he findeth out,

In mind to take some friar with him,

        to walk the town about.

   But entered once he might

        not issue out again,

For that a brother of the house,

        a day before or twain,

   Died of the plague – a sickness which

        they greatly fear and hate –

So were the brethren charged to keep

        within their convent gate,

   Barred of their fellowship

        that in the town do wonne;

The townfolk eke commanded are

        the friar’s house to shonne

   Till they that had the care of health

        their freedom should renew;

Whereof, as you shall shortly hear,

        a mischief great there grew.

   The friar by this restraint,

        beset with dread and sorrow,

Not knowing what the letters held,

        deferred until the morrow;

   And then he thought in time

        to send to Romeus.

189. Friar John is

stopped in Mantua

because of a brother

who had died of

































But whilst at Mantua where he was,

        these doings framéd thus,

   The town of Juliet’s birth

        was wholly busiéd

About her obsequies, to see

        their darling buriéd.

   Now is the parents’ mirth

        quite changéd into moan,

And now to sorrow is returned

        the joy of every one;

   And now the wedding weeds

        for mourning weeds they change,

And Hymene into a dirge;

        alas, it seemeth strange:

   Instead of marriage gloves,

        now funeral gloves they have,

And whom they should see marriéd,

        they follow to the grave.

   The feast that should have been

        of pleasure and of joy,

Hath every dish and cup filled full

        of sorrow and annoy.

190. In the meantime,

in Verona the feast has

been turned into a
























   Now throughout Italy

        this common use they have,

That all the best of every stock

        are earthéd in one grave:

   For every household, if

        it be of any fame,

Doth build a tomb, or dig a vault,

        that bears the household’s name;

   Wherein, if any of

        that kindred hap to die,

They are bestowed; else in the same

        no other corpse may lie.

191. Italian funerary











   The Capulets her corpse

        in such a one did lay,

Where Tybalt, slain of Romeus,

        was laid the other day.

192. Juliet is laid in the

Capulet tomb where

Tybalt was buried.












   Another use there is,

        that whosoever dies,

Borne to their church with open face

        upon the bier he lies,

   In wonted weed attired,

        not wrapped in winding sheet.

193. The Italian

custom of bearing the

corpse with open face

in the funeral













So, as by chance he walked abroad,

        our Romeus’ man did meet

   His master’s wife; the sight

        with sorrow straight did wound

His honest heart; with tears he saw

        her lodged underground.

194. Romeus’ man

happens to see Juliet

in the funeral












   And, for he had been sent

        to Verone for a spy,

The doings of the Capulets

        by wisdom to descry,

195. The narrator

repeats that Romeus’

man had been sent

back to Verona.


































   And for he knew her death

        did touch his master most,

Alas, too soon, with heavy news

        he hied away in post;

   And in his house he found

        his master Romeus,

Where he, besprent with many tears,

       began to speak him thus:

    “Sire, unto you of late

        is chanced so great a harm,

That sure, except with constancy

        you seek yourself to arm,

   I fear that straight you will

        breathe out your latter breath,

And I, most wretched wight, shall be

        th’occasion of your death.

   Know, sir, that yesterday,

        my lady and your wife,

I wot not by what sudden grief,

        hath made exchange of life

   And for because on earth

        she found nought but unrest,

In heaven hath she sought to find

        a place of quiet rest

   And with these weeping eyes

        myself have seen her laid

Within the tomb of Capulets”:

        and herewithal he stayed.

196. Romeus’ man

hurries back to

Mantua and informs

his master.



































   This sudden message’ sound,

        sent forth with sighs and tears,

Our Romeus received too soon

        with open list’ning ears

   And thereby hath sunk in

        such sorrow in his heart,

That lo, his sprite annoyéd sore

        with torment and with smart,

   Was like to break out of

        his prison house perforce,

And that he might fly after hers,

        would leave the massy corpse.

   But earnest love that will

        not fail him till his end,

This fond and sudden fantasy

        into his head did send:

   That if near unto her he

        offered up his breath,

That then a hundred thousand parts

        more glorious were his death.

   Eke should his painful heart

        a great deal more be eased,

And more also, he vainly thought,

        his lady better pleased.

197. At the news

Romeus decides to die

and to rest with Juliet.














































   Wherefore when he his face

        hath washed with water clean,

Lest that the stains of driéd tears

        might on his cheeks be seen,

   And so his sorrow should

        of everyone be spied,

Which he with all his care did seek

        from everyone to hide,

   Straight, weary of the house,

        he walketh forth abroad:

His servant, at the master’s hest,

        in chamber still abode;

   And then from street to street

        he wand’reth up and down,

To see if he in any place

        may find, in all the town,

   A salve meet for his sore,

        an oil fit for his wound;

And seeking long – alack, too soon! –

        the thing he sought, he found.

   An apothecary sat

        unbusied at his door,

Whom by his heavy countenance

        he guessed to be poor.

   And in his shop he saw

        his boxes were but few,

And in his window, of his wares,

        there was so small a shew;

   Wherefore our Romeus

        assuredly hath thought,

What by no friendship could be got,

        with money should be bought;

198. Romeus roams

about town and finally

finds a poor
















   For needy lack is like

        the poor man to compel

To sell that which the city’s law

        forbiddeth him to sell.

199. The law forbids to

sell poison.
























   Then by the hand he drew

        the needy man apart,

And with the sight of glittering gold

        inflaméd hath his heart:

    “Take fifty crowns of gold,”

        quoth he, “I give them thee,

So that, before I part from hence,

        thou straight deliver me

   Some poison strong, that may

        in less than half an hour

Kill him whose wretched hap shall be

        the potion to devour.”

   The wretch by covetise

        is won, and doth assent

To sell the thing, whose sale ere long,

        too late, he doth repent.

200. Romeus offers

fifty crowns to the

apothecary to buy the

poison. The

apothecary accepts the

money and sells it to





















   In haste he poison sought,

        and closely he it bound,

And then began with whispering voice

        thus in his ear to round:

    “Fair sir,” quoth he, “be sure

        this is the speeding gear,

And more there is than you shall need;

        for half of that is there

   Will serve, I undertake,

        in less than half an hour

To kill the strongest man alive;

        such is the poison’s power.”

201. The apothecary

describes the

speediness of the

































   Then Romeus, somewhat eased

        of one part of his care,

Within his bosom putteth up

        his dear unthrifty ware.

   Returning home again,

        he sent his man away

To Verona town, and chargeth him

        that he, without delay,

   Provide both instruments

        to open wide the tomb,

And lights to show him Juliet;

        and stay till he shall come

   Near to the place whereas

        his loving wife doth rest,

And chargeth him not to

        bewray the dolours of his breast.

   Peter, these heard, his leave

        doth of his master take;

Betime he comes to town, such haste

        the painful man did make:

   And then with busy care

        he seeketh to fulfil,

But doth disclose unto no wight

        his woeful master’s will.

202. Romeus sends

Peter to Verona and

tells him to wait for

him near where Juliet

has been buried, with

instruments to open

the tomb. Peter carries

out his task in secrecy.
































   Would God, he had herein

        broken his master’s hest!

Would God, that to the friar he had

        discloséd all his breast!

   But Romeus the while

        with many a deadly thought

Provokéd much, hath caused ink

        and paper to be brought,

   And in few lines he did

        of all his love discourse,

How by the friar’s help, and by

        the knowledge of the nurse,

   The wedlock knot was knit,

        and by what mean that night

And many mo he did enjoy

        his happy heart’s delight;

   Where he the poison bought,

        and how his life should end;

And so his wailful tragedy

        the wretched man hath penned.

   The letters closed and sealed,

        directed to his sire,

He locketh in his purse, and then

        a post-horse doth he hire.

203. Romeus writes a

letter to his father

where he tells the

whole story, and hires

a horse to go to






































   When he approachéd near,

        he warely lighted down,

And even with the shade of night

        he entered Verona town

   Where he hath found his man,

        waiting when he should come,

With lantern, and with instruments

        to open Juliet’s tomb.

    “Help, Peter, help,” quoth he,

         “help to remove the stone,

And straight when I am gone from thee,

        my Juliet to bemoan,

   See that thou get thee hence,

        and on the pain of death

I charge thee that thou come not near

        while I abide beneath,

   Ne seek thou not to let

        thy master’s enterprise,

Which he hath fully purposed

        to do, in any wise.

   Take there a letter, which,

        as soon as he shall rise,

Present it in the morning to

        my loving father’s eyes;

   Which unto him, perhaps,

        far pleasanter shall seem,

Than either I do mind to say,

        or thy gross head can deem.”

204. Romeus arrives at

Verona at night and

finds his man waiting

for him at the

monument, with the

instruments. He bids

him to go away and to

bring the letter to his















   Now Peter, that knew not

        the purpose of his heart,

Obediently a little way

        withdrew himself apart;

205. Peter obediently




























   And then our Romeus

         (the vault-stone set upright),

Descended down, and in his hand

        he bare the candle light.

   And then with piteous eye

        the body of his wife

He ’gan behold, who surely was

        the organ of his life;

   For whom unhappy now

        he is, but erst was blissed,

He watered her with tears, and then

        a hundred times her kissed;

   And in his folded arms

        full straitly he her plight,

But no way could his greedy eyes

        be filléd with her sight:

   His fearful hands he laid

        upon her stomach cold,

And them on divers parts beside

        the woeful wight did hold.

206. Romeus descends

into the tomb, sees

Juliet and cries over
















































   But when he could not find

        the signs of life he sought,

Out of his curséd box he drew

        the poison that he bought;

   Whereof he greedily

        devoured the greater part,

And then he cried, with deadly sigh

        fetched from his mourning heart:

    “O Juliet, of whom

        the world unworthy was,

From which, for world’s unworthiness

        thy worthy ghost did pass,

   What death more pleasant could

        my heart wish to abide

Than that which here it suffreth now,

        so near thy friendly side?

   Or else so glorious tomb

        how could my youth have craved,

As in one self-same vault with thee

        haply to be ingraved?

   What epitaph more worth,

        or half so excellent,

To consecrate my memory,

        could any man invent,

   As this our mutual and

        our piteous sacrifice

Of life, set light for love?” But while

        he talketh in this wise,

   And thought as yet awhile

        his dolours to enforce,

His tender heart began to faint,

        pressed with the venom’s force;

   Which little and little ’gan

        to overcome his heart,

207. Romeus drinks

the poison and talks

about their sacrifice

for love in the same

tomb as their best









































And whilst his busy eyne he threw

        about to every part,

   He saw, hard by the corpse

        of sleeping Juliet,

Bold Tybalt’s carcase dead, which was

        not all consuméd yet

   To whom, as having life,

        in this sort speaketh he:

“Ah, cousin dear, Tybalt, whereso

        thy restless sprite now be

   With stretchéd hands to thee

        for mercy now I cry,

For that before thy kindly hour

        I forcéd thee to die.

   But if with quenchéd life

        not quenchéd be thine ire,

But with revenging lust as yet

        thy heart be set on fire,

   What more amends, or cruel

        wreak desirest thou

To see on me, than this which here

        is showed forth to thee now?

   Who reft by force of arms

        from thee thy living breath,

The same with his own hand, thou seest,

        doth poison himself to death.

   And for he caused thee

        in tomb too soon to lie,

Too soon also, younger than thou,

        himself he layeth by.”

208. Romeus sees

Tybalt’s body and asks

for forgiveness.



























   These said, when he ’gan feel

        the poison’s force prevail,

And little and little mastered life

        for aye began to fail,

   Kneeling upon his knees,

        he said with voice full low:

“Lord Christ, that so to ransom me

        descendedst long ago

   Out of thy father’s bosom,

        and in the Virgin’s womb

Didst put on flesh, oh, let my plaint

        out of this hollow tomb,

   Pierce through the air, and grant

        my suit may favour find;

Take pity on my sinful and

        my poor afflicted mind.

   For well enough I know,

        this body is but clay,

Nought but a mass of sin, too frail,

        and subject to decay.”

209. Romeus invokes

Christ’s pity.






















   Then pressed with extreme grief

        he threw with so great force

His overpresséd parts upon

        his lady’s wailéd corpse,

   That now his weakened heart,

        weakened with torments past,

Unable to abide this pang,

        the sharpest and the last,

   Remainéd quite deprived

        of sense and kindly strength,

And so the long imprisoned soul

        hath freedom won at length

   Ah cruel death, too soon, too soon

        was this divorce,

’Twixt youthful Romeus’ heavenly sprite,

        and his fair earthy corpse.

210. Romeus dies upon

Juliet’s body.

























   The friar that knew what time

        the powder had been taken,

Knew eke the very instant when

        the sleeper should awaken;

   But wondering that he could

        no kind of answer hear

Of letters which to Romeus

        his fellow friar did bear,

   Out of Saint Francis’ church

        himself alone did fare,

And for the opening of the tomb

        meet instruments he bare.

   Approaching nigh the place

        and seeing there the light,

Great horror felt he in his heart,

        by strange and sudden sight;

211. Without news

from Romeus, the friar

goes to the monument

to meet Juliet when

she wakes up.


















   Till Peter, Romeus’ man,

        his coward heart made bold,

When of his master’s being there

        the certain news he told:

    “There hath he been,” quoth he,

         “this half hour at the least

And in this time, I dare well say,

        his plaint hath still increast.”

212. Peter tells the

friar that Romeus is

within the tomb.
















   Then both they entered in,

        where they, alas, did find

The breathless corpse of Romeus,

        forsaken of the mind:

   Where they have made such moan,

        as they may best conceive,

That have with perfect friendship loved,

        whose friend fierce death did reave.

213. They enter the

monument, find

Romeus dead and start





















   But whilst with piteous plaint

        they Romeus’ fate beweep,

An hour too late fair Juliet

        awakéd out of sleep;

   And much amazed to see

        in tomb so great a light,

She wist not if she saw a dream,

        or sprite that walked by night.

   But coming to herself

        she knew them, and said thus:

“What, friar Laurence, is it you?

        Where is my Romeus?”

214. Juliet wakes up

and asks the friar

where Romeus is.
































   And then the ancient friar,

        that greatly stood in fear,

Lest, if they lingered over long

        they should be taken there,

   In few plain words the whole

        that was betid, he told,

And with his finger showed his corpse

        out-stretchéd, stiff, and cold;

   And then persuaded her

        with patience to abide

This sudden great mischance, and saith,

        that he will soon provide

   In some religious house

        for her a quiet place,

Where she may spend the rest of life,

        and where in time, percase,

   She may with wisdom’s mean

        measure her mourning breast,

And unto her tormented soul

        call back exiléd rest.

215. The friar tells her

what has happened

and tries to convince

her to go away and

spend her life in a




























































































   But lo, as soon as she

        had cast her ruthful eye

On Romeus’ face, that pale and wan

        fast by her side did lie,

   Straightway she did unstop

        the conduits of her tears,

And out they gush; with cruel hand

        she tare her golden hairs.

   But when she neither could

        her swelling sorrow ’suage

Ne yet her tender heart abide

        her sickness’ furious rage,

   Fall’n on his corpse she lay,

        long panting on his face,

And then with all her force and strength

        the dead corpse did embrace.

   As though with sighs, with sobs,

        with force, and busy pain

She would him raise, and him restore

        from death to life again:

   A thousand times she kissed

        his mouth, as cold as stone,

And it unkissed again as oft;

        then ’gan she thus to moan:

    “Ah, pleasant prop of all

        my thoughts, ah, only ground

Of all the sweet delights that yet

        in all my life I found,

   Did such assuréd trust

        within thy heart repose,

That in this place and at this time,

        thy churchyard thou hast chose

   Betwixt the arms of me,

        thy perfect-loving make

And thus by means of me to end

        thy life, and for my sake?

   Even in the flow’ring of

        thy youth, when unto thee

Thy life most dear, as to the most,

        and pleasant ought to be,

   How could this tender corpse

        withstand the cruel fight

Of furious Death, that wonts to fray

        the stoutest with his sight?

   How could thy dainty youth

        agree with willing heart,

In this so foul-infected place

        to dwell, where now thou art?

   Where spiteful Fortune hath

        appointed thee to be

The dainty food of greedy worms,

        unworthy, sure, of thee.

   Alas, alas, alas,

        what needed now anew

My wonted sorrows, doubled twice,

        again thus to renew?

   Which both the time and eke

        my patient long abode

Should now at length have quenchéd quite,

        and under foot have trode?

   Ah, wretch and caitiff that

        I am, even when I thought

To find my painful passion’s salve,

        I missed the thing I sought;

   And to my mortal harm

        the fatal knife I ground,

That gave to me so deep, so wide,

        so cruel deadly wound!

   Ah thou, most fortunate

        and most unhappy tomb!

For thou shalt bear, from age to age,

        witness in time to come

   Of the most perfect league

        betwixt a pair of lovers,

That were the most unfortunate

        and fortunate of others,

   Receive the latter sigh,

        receive the latter pang,

Of the most cruel of cruel slaves

        that wrath and death aye wrang.”

216. Juliet sees

Romeus’ dead body,

kisses him and




















   And when our Juliet would

        continue still her moan,

The friar and the servant fled,

        and left her there alone;

   For they a sudden noise

        fast by the place did hear,

And lest they might be taken there,

        greatly they stood in fear.

217. The friar and

Peter hear a noise and

go away.
































































   When Juliet saw herself

        left in the vault alone,

That freely she might work her will,

        for let or stay was none,

   Then once for all she took

        the cause of all her harms,

The body dead of Romeus,

        and clasped it in her arms;

   Then she with earnest kiss

        sufficiently did prove,

That more than by the fear of death,

        she was attaint by love;

   And then past deadly fear,

        for life ne had she care,

With hasty hand she did draw out

        the dagger that he ware.

    “O welcome Death,” quoth she,

         “end of unhappiness,

That also art beginning of

        assuréd happiness,

   Fear not to dart me now,

        thy stripe no longer stay,

Prolong no longer now my life,

        I hate this long delay;

   For straight my parting sprite,

        out of this carcase fled,

At ease shall find my Romeus’ sprite

        among so many dead.

   And thou my loving lord,

        Romeus, my trusty fere,

If knowledge yet do rest in thee,

        if thou these words dost hear,

   Receive thou her whom thou

        didst love so lawfully,

That caused, alas, thy violent death,

        although unwillingly;

   And therefore willingly

        offers to thee her ghost,

To th’end that no wight else but thou

        might have just cause to boast

   Th’enjoying of my love,

        which aye I have reserved

Free from the rest, bound unto thee,

        that hast it well deserved;

   That so our parted sprites

        from light that we see here,

In place of endless light and bliss

        may ever live y-fere.”

   These said, her ruthless hand

        through-girt her valiant heart:

Ah, ladies, help with tears to wail

        the lady’s deadly smart!

   She groans, she stretcheth out

        her limbs, she shuts her eyes,

And from her corpse the sprite doth fly;

        what should I say, she dies.

218. Juliet stabs herself

with Romeus’ dagger

and dies. The narrator

addresses his female

readers and comments

on his own story-









































   The watchmen of the town

        the whilst are passéd by,

And through the gates the candle-light

        within the tomb they spy;

   Whereby they did suppose

        enchanters to be come,

That with prepared instruments

        had opened wide the tomb,

   In purpose to abuse

        the bodies of the dead,

Which by their science’ aid abused,

        do stand them oft instead.

   Their curious hearts desire

        the truth hereof to know;

Then they by certain steps descend,

        where they do find below,

   In claspéd arms y-wrapt,

        the husband and the wife,

In whom as yet they seemed to see

        some certain marks of life.

   But when more curiously

        with leisure they did view,

The certainty of both their deaths

        assuredly they knew:

   Then here and there so long

        with careful eye they sought,

That at the length hidden they found

        the murd’rers; so they thought.

   In dungeon deep that night

        they lodged them underground;

219. The watchmen of

the town enter the

monument and find

the corpses, which

they lodge

underground. They

apprehend the friar

and Peter.




























The next day do they tell the prince

        the mischief that they found.

   The news was by and by

        throughout the town dispread,

Both of the taking of the friar,

        and of the two found dead.

   Thither might you have seen

        whole households forth to run,

For to the tomb where they did hear

        this wonder strange was done,

   The great, the small, the rich,

        the poor, the young, the old,

With hasty pace do run to see,

        but rue when they behold.

220. The next day they

inform the Prince, and

 all the townspeople

run to the monument.




























































   And that the murderers

        to all men might be known,

Like as the murder’s bruit abroad

        through all the town was blown,

   The prince did straight ordain,

        the corpses that were found

Should be set forth upon a stage

        high raiséd from the ground,

   Right in the selfsame form,

        showed forth to all men’s sight,

That in the hollow vault they had

        been found that other night;

   And eke that Romeus’ man

        and Friar Laurence should

Be openly examinéd;

        for else the people would

   Have murmuréd, or feigned

        there were some weighty cause

Why openly they were not called,

        and so convict by laws.

   The holy friar now,

        and reverent by his age,

In great reproach set to the show

        upon the open stage,

   A thing that ill beseem’d

        a man of silver hairs,

His beard as white as milk he bathes

        with great fast-falling tears:

   Whom straight the dreadful judge

        commandeth to declare

Both, how this murder had been done,

        and who the murd’rers are;

   For that he near the tomb

        was found at hours unfit,

And had with him those iron tools

        for such a purpose fit.

   The friar was of lively

        sprite and free of speech,

The judge’s words appalled him not,

        ne were his wits to seech,

   But with advised heed

        a while first did he stay,

And then with bold assuréd voice

        aloud thus ’gan he say:

221. The Prince orders

that the corpses be

exhibited upon a high

 stage, and that the

two suspects be

openly examined.























































































































































































































































































    “My lords, there is not one

        among you, set together,

So that, affection set aside,

        by wisdom he consider

   My former passéd life,

        and this my extreme age,

And eke this heavy sight, the wreak

        of frantic Fortune’s rage,

   But that, amazéd much,

        doth wonder at this change,

So great, so suddenly befall’n,

        unlooked for, and strange.

   For I, that in the space

        of sixty years and ten,

Since first I did begin, too soon,

        to lead my life with men,

   And with the world’s vain things,

        myself I did acquaint,

Was never yet, in open place,

        at any time attaint

   With any crime, in weight

        as heavy as a rush,

Ne is there any stander-by

        can make me guilty blush,

   Although before the face

        of God, I do confess

Myself to be the sinfull’st wretch

        of all this mighty press.

   When readiest I am

        and likeliest to make

My great accompt, which no man else

        for me shall undertake;

   When worms, the earth, and death,

        do cite me every hour,

T’appear before the judgment seat

        of everlasting power,

   And falling ripe, I step

        upon my grave’s brink,

Even then, am I, most wretched wight,

        as each of you doth think,

   Through my most heinous deed,

        with headlong sway thrown down,

In greatest danger of my life,

        and domage of renown.

   The spring, whence in your head

        this new conceit doth rise,

And in your heart increaseth still

        your vain and wrong surmise,

   May be the hugeness of

        these tears of mine, percase,

That so abundantly down fall

        by either side my face;

   As though the memory

        in Scriptures were not kept

That Christ our Saviour himself

        for ruth and pity wept;

   And more, whoso will read,

        y-written shall he find,

That tears are as true messengers

        of man’s unguilty mind.

   Or else, a liker proof,

        that I am in the crime,

You say these present irons are,

        and the suspected time;

   As though all hours alike

        had not been made above.

Did Christ not say, the day had twelve?

        whereby he sought to prove,

   That no respect of hours

        ought justly to be had,

But at all times men have the choice

        of doing good or bad;

   Even as the sprite of God

        the hearts of men doth guide,

Or as it leaveth them to stray

        from virtue’s path aside.

   As for the irons that

        were taken in my hand,

As now I deem, I need not seek

        to make ye understand

   To what use iron first

        was made, when it began;

How of itself it helpeth not,

        ne yet can help a man.

   The thing that hurteth is

        the malice of his will,

That such indifferent things is wont

        to use and order ill.

   Thus much I thought to say,

        to cause you so to know

That neither these my piteous tears,

        though ne’er so fast they flow,

   Ne yet these iron tools,

        nor the suspected time,

Can justly prove the murder done,

        or damn me of the crime:

   No one of these hath power,

        ne power have all the three,

To make me other than I am,

        how so I seem to be.

   But sure my conscience,

        if so my guilt deserve,

For an appeacher, witness, and

        a hangman, eke should serve;

   For through mine age, whose hairs

        of long time since were hoar,

And credit great that I was in,

        with you, in time tofore,

   And eke the sojourn short

        that I on earth must make,

That every day and hour do look

        my journey hence to take,

   My conscience inwardly

        should more torment me thrice,

Than all the outward deadly pain

        that all you could devise.

   But, God I praise, I feel

        no worm that gnaweth me,

And from remorse’s pricking sting

        I joy that I am free:

   I mean, as touching this,

        wherewith you troubled are,

Wherewith you should be troubled still,

        if I my speech should spare.

   But to the end I may

        set all your hearts at rest,

And pluck out all the scruples that

        are rooted in your breast,

   Which might perhaps henceforth,

        increasing more and more,

Within your conscience also

        increase your cureless sore,

   I swear by yonder heavens,

        whither I hope to climb,

And for a witness of my words

        my heart attesteth Him,

   Whose mighty hand doth wield

        them in their violent sway,

And on the rolling stormy seas

        the heavy earth doth stay,

   That I will make a short

        and eke a true discourse

Of this most woeful tragedy,

        and show both th’end and source

   Of their unhappy death,

        which you perchance no less

Will wonder at than they, alas,

        poor lovers in distress,

   Tormented much in mind,

        not forcing lively breath,

With strong and patient heart did

        yield themself to cruel death:

   Such was the mutual love

        wherein they burnéd both,

And of their promised friendship’s faith

        so steady was the troth.”

   And then the ancient friar

        began to make discourse,

Even from the first, of Romeus’

        and Juliet’s amours;

   How first by sudden sight

        the one the other chose,

And ’twixt themself did knit the knot

        which only death might loose;

   And how, within a while,

        with hotter love oppressed,

Under confession’s cloak, to him

        themself they have addressed,

   And how with solemn oaths

        they have protested both,

That they in heart are married

        by promise and by oath;

   And that except he grant

        the rites of church to give,

They shall be forced by earnest love

        in sinful state to live:

   Which thing when he had weighed,

        and when he understood

That the agreement ’twixt them twain

        was lawful, honest, good,

   And all things peiséd well,

        it seeméd meet to be,

For like they were of nobleness,

        age, riches, and degree:

   Hoping that so, at length,

        ended might be the strife,

Of Montagues and Capulets,

        that led in hate their life,

   Thinking to work a work

        well pleasing in God’s sight,

In secret shrift he wedded them;

        and they the self-same night

   Made up the marriage

        in house of Capulet,

As well doth know, if she be asked,

        the nurse of Juliet.

   He told how Romeus fled

        for reaving Tybalt’s life,

And how, the whilst, Paris the earl

        was offered to his wife;

   And how the lady did

        so great a wrong disdain,

And how to shrift unto his church

        she came to him again;

   And how she fell flat down

        before his feet aground,

And how she sware, her hand

        and bloody knife should wound

   Her harmless heart, except

        that he some mean did find

To disappoint the earl’s attempt;

        and spotless save her mind.

   Wherefore, he doth conclude,

        although that long before

By thought of death and age he had

        refused for evermore

   The hidden arts which he

        delighted in, in youth,

Yet won by her importun’ness,

        and by his inward ruth,

   And fearing lest she would

        her cruel vow discharge

His closed conscience he had

        opened and set at large;

   And rather did he choose

        to suffer for one time

His soul to be spotted somedeal

        with small and easy crime,

   Than that the lady should,

        weary of living breath,

Murder herself, and danger much

        her seely soul by death:

   Wherefore his ancient arts

        again he puts in ure,

A certain powder gave he her,

        that made her sleep so sure,

   That they her held for dead;

        and how that Friar John

With letters sent to Romeus

        to Mantua is gone;

   Of whom he knoweth not

        as yet, what is become;

And how that dead he found his friend

        within her kindred’s tomb.

   He thinks with poison strong,

        for care the young man starved,

Supposing Juliet dead; and how

        that Juliet hath carved,

   With Romeus’ dagger drawn,

        her heart, and yielded breath,

Desirous to accompany

        her lover after death;

   And how they could not save

        her, so they were afeard,

And hid themself, dreading the noise

        of watchmen, that they heard.

   And for the proof of this

        his tale, he doth desire

The judge to send forthwith

        to Mantua for the friar,

   To learn his cause of stay,

        and eke to read his letter;

And, more beside, to th’end that they

        might judge his cause the better,

   He prayeth them depose

        the nurse of Juliet,

And Romeus’ man whom at unwares

        beside the tomb he met.

222. The friar clears

himself and

recapitulates the










































   Then Peter, not so much

        erst as he was, dismayed;

“My lords,” quoth he, “too true is all

        that Friar Laurence said.

   And when my master went

        into my mistress’ grave,

This letter that I offer you,

        unto me then he gave,

   Which he himself did write,

        as I do understand,

And charged me to offer them

        unto his father’s hand.”

   The opened packet doth

        contain in it the same

That erst the skilful friar said;

        and eke the wretch’s name

   That had at his request

        the deadly poison sold,

The price of it, and why he bought,

        his letters plain have told.

   The case unfolded so

        and open now it lies,

That they could wish no better proof,

        save seeing it with their eyes;

   So orderly all things

        were told and triéd out,

That in the press there was not one

        that stood at all in doubt.

223. Peter confirms

the friar’s words and

produces Romeus’













































   The wiser sort, to council

        called by Escalus,

Have given advice, and Escalus

        sagely decreeth thus:

   The nurse of Juliet

        is banished in her age,

Because that from the parents she

        did hide the marriage,

   Which might have wrought much good

        had it in time been known,

Where now by her concealing it

        a mischief great is grown;

   And Peter, for he did

        obey his master’s hest,

In wonted freedom had good leave

        to lead his life in rest,

   Th’apothecary high

        is hangéd by the throat,

And for the pains he took with him

        the hangman had his coat.

   But now what shall betide

        of this grey-bearded sire?

Of Friar Laurence thus arraigned,

        that good barefooted friar

   Because that many times

        he worthily did serve

The commonwealth, and in his life

        was never found to swerve,

   He was dischargéd quite,

        and no mark of defame

Did seem to blot or touch at all

        the honour of his name.

224. The Prince’s

sentence: the nurse is

banished, Peter and

the friar are acquitted,

the apothecary is

entenced to death.



















   But of himself he went

        into an hermitage,

Two miles from Verona town, where he

        in prayers passed forth his age;

   Till that from earth to heaven

        his heavenly sprite did fly,

Five years he lived an hermit and

        an hermit did he die.

225. The friar goes

nto a hermitage near

Verona and dies after

five years.

















   The strangeness of the chance,

        when triéd was the truth,

The Montagues and Capulets

        hath moved so to ruth,

   That with their emptied tears

        their choler and their rage

Was emptied quite; and they, whose wrath

        no wisdom could assuage,

   Nor threat’ning of the prince,

        ne mind of murders done,

At length, so mighty Jove it would,

        by pity they are won.

226. The feuding

families reconcile.

































   And lest that length of time

        might from our minds remove

The memory of so perfect, sound,

        and so approvéd love,

   The bodies dead, removed

        from vault where they did die,

In stately tomb, on pillars great

        of marble, raise they high.

   On every side above

        were set, and eke beneath,

Great store of cunning epitaphs,

        in honour of their death.

   And even at this day

        the tomb is to be seen;

So that among the monuments

        that in Verona been,

   There is no monument

        more worthy of the sight,

Than is the tomb of Juliet

        and Romeus her knight.

227. The two lovers

are placed into the

same tomb on a

stately marble pillar

adorned with many

epitaphs on every side.















Imprinted at London in

   Fleet street within Temple bar, at

    the sign of the hand and star, by

      Richard Tottill the xix. day of

          November. An. do. 1562.



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