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Come, Night; Come, Romeo -- William Shakespeare

Guest poem sent in by Ronald Lundquist

The stunning beauty of this passage never fails to floor me.  It is an
excerpt from Act 3 Scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet, Juliet speaking.
(Poem #570) Come, Night; Come, Romeo
 Come, night; come, Romeo; come, thou day in night;
 For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night
 Whiter than new snow on a raven's back.
 Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-brow'd night,
 Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
 Take him and cut him out in little stars,
 And he will make the face of heaven so fine
 That all the world will be in love with night
 And pay no worship to the garish sun.
-- William Shakespeare
Commentary: Biographically we all know about Shakespeare or Bacon or
whomever (I believe Shakespeare wrote the works attributed to him).

I became aware of this passage when I rented an audiocassette of the great
speeches of Robert Kennedy. He quoted

        when he shall die,
        Take him and cut him out in little stars,
        And he will make the face of heaven so fine
        That all the world will be in love with night

in a speech about his brother John shortly after John's death.
It is interesting to note that that the last line from the full excerpt
above is recycled in Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" in the song "Music of
the Night":

        Slowly, gently, night unfurls its splendour
        Grasp it, sense it, tremulous and tender
        Turn your face away from the garish light of day
        Turn your thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light
        And listen to the music of the night. . .

Ronald J. Lundquist

10 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

amitc said...

Ronald J. Lundquist:
> It is interesting to note that that the last line from the full excerpt
> above is recycled in Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" in the song "Music of
> the Night"

This attribution to Webber is inaccurate for he didn't
write the words. The lyrics are due to Hart and Stilgoe.

Also, to call a natural (under the circumstances) and simple
turn of phrase like "garish light of day" a recycling of
Shakespeare's line is stretching things too far.

All that said, Shakespeare's lines are sublime. Thank you for
posting this.

--Amit.

Rodney Fields said...

Considering that Shakespeare is second only to the Bible in the number of
times cited, quoted, reused, etc., I don't think it's a stretch to say that
the lines from Phantom of the Opera were inspired by Shakespeare's lines.
The phantom hates the day and worships the night.Juliet states that all the
world will love the night and pay no worship to the day.seems to me to not
be a stretch at all.

Rodney

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