Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.



Romeus and Juliet: Lines 2689-2808



  The friar that knew what time the powder had been taken,
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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;
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
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And in this time, I dare well say, his plaint hath still increast."
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.
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:
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"What, friar Laurence, is it you? Where is my Romeus?"
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,
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And unto her tormented soul call back exiléd rest.
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
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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
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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
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Should now at length have quenchéd quite, and under foot have trode?
Ah, wretch and caitive 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,
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Of the most cruel of cruel slaves that wrath and death aye wrang."
  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.
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,
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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,
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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:
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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.
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 in stead.
Their curious hearts desire the truth hereof to know;
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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 murth'rers; -- so they thought.
In dungeon deep that night they lodged them underground;
The next day do they tell the prince the mischief that they found.