A Twisted Tail

My own attempt at faux-Shakespeare…



What angel kneels beneath this marble saint?

She doth not speak.

And yet the Carillon of her whispered prayer

beats out upon the heavy scented air.


Venus kneeling all unclothed emerging from the surf?

Iphegenia, dying to fill Greek sails with wind;

and speed her father Agamemnon on to Troy?

But wait, she stirs her adorations done;

and rises like aforementioned Venus,

on lissome coltish limbs. 


I faith she must not see me here;

rendered like Lot’s unheeding wife in salt.

Caparisoned in motley I must be.

Likewise sweet-sugared words must tumble from my tongue.

Such first impressions pressing home my hopeful suit.


I came upon her seeking but surcease

from heat and dusty commerce, thronging every street.

But simple quiet achieved; I lingered in this chapel.

And found beneath the Virgin Mary’s feet, an Angel.

Upon this sweet encounter, my love will build;

a structure to o’er-reach the very arch of heaven.

A love so high as frightens all save lovers;

and gift her all that lies beneath our wings.



Hail cousin Romeo, I trust thou art not troubled in thy soul?

As make thee prowl these private chapels begging absolution.



Not so my fair and trusted friend Benvolio.

But mark us from afar, upon these very stones;

my sweetheart presently shall walk.

Hush now and stand behind this wall;

whilst I in muted tones tell of my love, my life.

So in her passing thou should see the working of my heart.

Hark she comes; in all is she not fair?

In truth she pulls the air from out my very breast;

and leaves me blind to other human form.

Tell out her name if thou but know it cousin.

Else let us track her home behind her train.



Hold hard precipitate prince; though loathe to speak I must.

For full of doorstep confidence am I.

This maid who wears your heart already on her sleeve;

cannot become thy consort or thy love.



O tell me not she is the blood of Capulet;

for I will pay no homage to that extenuated feud.

Our love combined shall bridge the breach between our families;

and nought on earth shall keep me from her side.



Good Romeo I hold a guilty secret; 

but for your present sanity I speak.

This angel descended is sweetly christened Juliet

daughter to the gracious lady Capulet.

So Capulet by name but not by blood;

which courses from another noble House.

Beyond the ken of all from Fair Verona;

excepting only I, your father and the lady Capulet.

That knowledge trembles fearful on my tongue;

yet truth will out your Juliet is Montague, your sister


© franciman 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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How I love the English language! It is exquisite when written properly as here. I remember studying Macbeth and being almost overwhelmed at his mastery. A brave thing to attempt but you carried it off with aplomb!
The last line is a bit of a bummer for poor Romeo. 😉

Alison x

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