Monday, 23 April 2012

Shakespearean Flash - 'Good Night, Sweet Prince.' By Virginia Moffatt

You gave me rosemary – that’s for remembrance. I laid it under my pillow: prayed, loved, remembered you. My dreams infused with pine scent and memories of my sweet prince.

You gave me pansies – they’re for thoughts. I placed them by my bed, so to wake with thoughts of you: green girl hopes, that the tenderness of my affection could overcome your black melancholy.

You gave me violets - sweets for the sweet. My brother warned me such gifts were trifles. My father, that I should disbelieve your vows. My disobedient heart pressed the petals close in love for you.

You garlanded me with daisies, leading me to the shallow brook, where the willow weeps into the water. Before heaven I pledged myself to you. Lying down with you a maid, I rose a maid no more.

Now madness has overtaken you. Your eyes, that once looked on me with love, are infused with hateful stares. You lance me with your words: bid me make alternative vows, pretend you know me not...

You tease me with sweet cruelty, forcing your head into my lap in plain sight of all. You speak in lewd tones, exposing the secrets of our intimacy for those with ears to hear and understand

Worse, they say you killed my father. My poor, kind, father, at work to do his master’s will. Your lance pierced the curtain, extinguishing his life’s blood, lacerating the hopes and dreams of this green girl.

Your madness infects me now. Your love once thrilled my blood – but now your ramblings possess me. I shriek, I weep, I wail: lamenting loss of father, lover, honour. I watch them watch in horror. For I am lost to all.

Tonight, the fever has abated. I look to the crescent moon, which once filled my heart with trembling hopes and loves. There are no vows left to make, all promises are broken. For you have proved as faithless as they said.

I will deck myself with such flowers as I find by the bank of the brook: daisies, nettles, and purples. I will bid you good night, my sweet prince, and lay myself down this one last time.

There’s rosemary- that’s for remembrance – pray remember me.

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