Romeus and Juliet: Lines 2473-2512
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
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.
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,
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 wone;
The townfolk eke commanded are the friar's house to shun
Till they that had the care of health their freedom should renew;
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.
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,
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.