Main content

A Shakespeare Masque

Watch Garrick's Shakespeare Ode and A Shakespeare Masque

Music by Sally Beamish
Text by Carol Ann Duffy

1. Intrada
Adsum
And so, you knew this well, you do not die
Courtier, countryman, noter of flowers and bees,
War’s laureate, magician, Janus-faced
But make a great Cathedral, genius of this place.

2. Adsum
Melodious birds sing madrigals,
but England’s poet is in school.
Shakespeare, William; William Shakespeare.
Adsum.

Here’s Rosemary for Rememberance.,
The lad sits on a wooden bench.
Shakespeare, William; William, Shakespeare.
Adsum.

I know a bank where wild thyme blows.
Shakespeare his Latin grammar knows.
Amo. Amas. Amat. Et cet.
Adsum.
Adsum. Adsum. I am here.

The swans ride on the Avon’s back.
The world is this boy’s living book.
Shakespeare, William; William, Shakespeare.
Adsum.

With shining morning face he walks
and in a local accent talks.
Shakespeare, William; William, Shakespeare.
Adsum.

One odd glove on a glover’s shelf.
Who knows where genius finds itself.
Shakespeare, William. William, Shakespeare.
Adsum.

Adsum. Adsum. I am here.

3. Almain

4. Please One and Please All
Please one and please allson
of forest,
son of town.
Words in flowers,
verse in birds.
Please one and please all.

Please one and please all,
in Henley Street,
Shottery,
Old Thatch Tavern,
Market Place.
Please one and please all.

Please one and please all.
Be comicalcakes
and ale-
Be magicalfairy
dell.
Please one and please all.

Please one and please allgentle
watcher
in the light,
merry wanderer
of the night.
Please one and please all.

Please one and please allgolden
lasses,
golden lads.
The charnel house
waits for all.
Please one and please all.

5. Morris

6. This Wooden O

The O in Love,
the O in Comedyand
in Ophelia, Othello, Oberonan
endless circle in this wooden O.
O.

So much ado
about round Nothing’s Ofound
in Olivia, Orlando, Orsinoand
who will call you now an upstart crow?
O.

Antony’s O,
the O in Romeo
and in Verona, Windsor; Cleopatra’s O,
her visiting moon the gaping loss of O.
O.

In Errors, O;
thrice in Love’s Labours Lost.
O in forever when we hear your living voice
and do rejoice within this wooden O.
O in forever when we hear your living voice
and do rejoice within this living O.
O.

7. Pavan

8. In Your Heart
The Queen’s swans
on the Avon and the Thames,
distant rhymes.
In your heart,
a living childhood and a dying child.
You come and go.
You vanish into poetry.

The dead heads
on the Tower and the bridge,
tragic masks.
In your heart,
an old religion and a coded faith.
You come and go.
You vanish into poetry. (refrain)

The King’s men
in the Theatre and the Globe
hear you laugh.
In your heart,
the darkest lady and the fairest youth.
You come and go.
You vanish into poetry.
You come and go.

9. Air: Come Live With Me

10. Anne Hathaway
The bed we loved in was a spinning world
of forests, castles, torchlight, cliff-tops, seas
where he would dive for pearls. My lover’s words
were shooting stars which fell to earth as kisses
on these lips; my body now a softer rhyme
to his, now echo, assonance; his touch
a verb dancing in the centre of a noun.
Some nights I dreamed he’d written me, the bed
a page beneath his writer’s hands. Romance
and drama played by touch, by scent, by taste.
In the other bed, the best, our guests dozed on,
dribbling their prose. My living laughing love –
I hold him in the casket of my widow’s head
as he held me upon that next best bed.

11. Galliard
Do not seek to scan my bones.
You find truth in my verse.
Death has atoned Servant to Life in my words.

12. Under the Mulberry
By force I was fixed
by fancy to write
and through the dark ink
I was led by a light,
by a light
where you lie reading now.

You cannot find me
except in my words;
my time was a sea
between you and my verse,
my verse
which you sit hearing now.

Under the mulberry-
Stratford-on-Avonweary
of London,
I sat in my garden,
my garden
where you walk quoting now.

My name and my dates,
a puzzle of bones,
are there in the Church.
Your breath has my poems,
my poems,
if you breathe English now.

13. Coranta: Shakespeare
...courtier, countryman, noter of flowers and bees,
war’s laureate, magician, Janus-faced –
but make a great Cathedral, genius, of this place.

Small Latin and less Greek, all English yours,
dear lad, local, word-blessed, language loved best;
the living human music on our tongues,
young, old, who we were or will be, history’s shadow,
love’s will, our heart’s iambic beat, brother
through time; full-rhyme to us.

Small Latin and less Greek, all English yours,
dear lad, local, word-blessed, language loved best;
the living human music on our tongues,
young, old, who we were or will be, history’s shadow,
love’s will, our heart’s iambic beat, brother
through time; full-rhyme to us.

Audience Refrain:
And so, you knew this well, you do not die –
courtier, countryman, noter of flowers and bees,
war’s laureate, magician, Janus-faced –
but make a great Cathedral, genius, of this place.

Two rivers quote your name;
your journey from the vanished forest’s edge
to endless fame – a thousand written souls,
pilgrims, redeemed in poetry – ends here, begins
again.

Audience Refrain:
And so, you knew this well, you do not die –
courtier, countryman, noter of flowers and bees,
war’s laureate, magician, Janus-faced –
but make a great Cathedral, genius, of this place.

And so, you knew this well, you do not die –
courtier, countryman, noter of flowers and bees,
war’s laureate, magician, Janus-faced –
but make a great Cathedral, genius, of this place.