Bohemian Rhapsody, by William Shakespeare, esq.

bohemian-rhapsody-cover

I brave the wind from whichever quarter:

North, South, East, West? I care not! ‘Tis all one

To me. To me.

It’s a little-known fact that Shakespeare composed several of our best-known modern pop songs in iambic pentameter. Perhaps this is the most recognisable? I thought it apt to publish this on Christmas Eve, given the Queen ‘cover version’ was a Christmas Number One …

Can we call our meagre existence ‘real’?

Or but a crazéd artesanal dream,

Buried ‘neath a veritable av’lanche

With little chance to ‘scape our earthly lot?

Dear friend, go shed the scales that cloud thy sight,

Raise thy eyes from ground to God’s azure light,

Anon, see …

No pretensions to riches make I, ‘sblood!

Friend, spare me th’empty coin of thy pity.

For I am at once here, now have I left;

Sudden I fly, anon, bereft.

I brave the wind from whichever quarter:

North, South, East, West? I care not! ‘Tis all one

To me. To me.

I’ve broken God’s writ, Mother: slain a man!

My poniard, smoking hot, did seal his fate –

Foul murder did I when I broke his pate.

Mother, scant few steps down life’s road am I,

Yet my remaining years I’ve tossed aside.

Mother. O …

Thy unintended tears wound thy sad son.

Henceforth should thou look vainly for my face,

Then like the stream, let life yet calmly flow;

Calmly flow, as if all were one to thee …
Time wastes me now, it tarries not for I.

Fear’s wintry hand plays dirges on my bones,

My flesh – as if ’twere racked – it daily moans.

And so, ’tis time to bid you all farewell,

Now Judgement’s awful visage must I face.

Mother. O … (wind from any quarter)

Were acts but thoughts, I’d live eternally.

Perchance ’tis better not to leave the womb!

 [lute solo]
What’s this I spy, a man’s small silhouette?

Scaramouche, be it thee? Will’st thou divert

Us with a lively jig of Spain, mayhap?

O! How this portentous tempest dismays,

The heavens blast my ears and eyes, forsooth – I quake!

Gallileo, dost thou infect my dreams?

What links the theories of Copernicus

With Figaro’s scheming foolery?

O! How my fever does compound these two

Diverse apparitions! Well done, in faith!

[aside] Recall, I make no pretensions to riches,

Nor claim th’affection of another soul.

[chorus] His purse is empty, ignoble are his

Family, surely the mercy of the

Capricious gods will spare him his fell fate?

What matters should I tarry there or here?

Why not release me – grant my liberty?

Bismillah! Thou shalt remain!

       [chorus] Release him.

Bismillah! Thou shalt remain!

      [chorus] Release him.

Bismillah! Thou shalt remain!

       [chorus] Release him.

Remainest thou!

    Pray, release me.

        Never!

Remainest thou!

    Pray, release me.

        Never!

Release me! O!

    [All] No! No! No! No! No! No! No!

Mother mine. O, mother mine! Release me.

The cunning fiend Beelzebub has picked

A vassal imp for mine sole damnation.

For I alone! For I alone!

For I …

 [lute solo]

Think’st I can be pelted with rocks, in faith;

And patiently wipe thy spittle away?

Think’st thy affection can be withheld, ‘zounds;

And that I will then perish like a cur?

O! Child of my affections, thou art wrong:

Thy intent exceed thy pow’rs, in faith!

My main concern, and thy defeat? Just this –

To leave, depart, put this place behind me.

 [lute solo]

O! Aye! O! Aye!

I perceive that all is one in God’s design.

Again, unfog thine eyes and thou wills’t see;

’Tis all one, I care not! O, ’tis all one

To me.

(wind from any quarter)

 [various alarums]

[EXEUNT]

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