Thursday, 22 September 2022

Vale Queen Elizabeth the Second

The Queen's son chose a beautiful line from Hamlet to farewell his mother. Although it is undoubtedly very lovely, to me, coming as it does from a speech spoken over the coffin of Hamlet, whose life and comportment could not in any way to be said to be similar to that of Charles's mother's, it seemed a not entirely apposite choice.

Instead, the words of Shakespeare that sprang to my mind as the public mourning drew to a close and the "wand of office" was broken were these from The Tempest, among the most beautiful ever written:

"Our revels now are ended. These our actors,

As I foretold you, were all spirits and

Are melted into air, into thin air:

And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,

The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,

The solemn temples, the great globe itself,

Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve

And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff

As dreams are made on, and our little life

Is rounded with a sleep."

From The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1

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