Betrayal of the betrayed
"Ophelia Under The Willow"
Ophelia, Under The Willow|
On she flows, on she flows
For where foul is deemed fair, then let fair be said foul,
where incest breeds fathers to inherited sons
as dutiful the sons who would slay same fathers.
Fare then well, unknowing mothers,
beguiled and seduced by virtues of love,
soaked in own sweat of betrayal and poisonous passions.
Yet, she, Ophelia, pure as the scent of olives in oil,
plushed by the pureness of youth--
salubrious in smile,
as acquiescent...a child.
And if once innocent her eyes,
blackened hearts would seek only instruments of betrayal,
where, in Nunneries, walls with
ears listen with prejudice
as foes lick wanton lips, dried of discontent...
where they, on that day, would lead her to betray 'her' love.
...and on she flows, on she flows.
'Him,' still, she loves,
though he be betrothed, of birth, to realms not of her kin,
thus told: "Think not of his love!" For said vague, as deluded--
riddled with vengeance--a wraith, said seen, of his murdered father
Yet, their songs she'd not sing,
for love would pierce like perfumed daggers
through silent corridors of thought,
where she, like the violets kept,
weep tears of faithfulness.
But, like her love, petals wither in the birth of being,
short with life and bloom
And thus to past, 'He,' whom once fled her love,
knowing her betrayal,
fell victim of a grave mishap
as he, her father doth slay,
of which madness would become her,
as now a loss of two.
So would she venture to place in own mind
of frivolous tongue and muddling rhymes--
songs without keys, words out of time.
Yet, amidst her madness, would find moment for goodbyes,
for to herself, her path already shown.
Imaginary flowers placed in each their hands...her choice,
to each its suitor.
Flowers for the guiltless, those with child in their eyes,
as to the dammed, who would answer own call.
Rosemary and Pansies, to her loving brother gives,
in mind of memory and thoughts.
Fennel and Columbines, the "thankless flower"as now fit for a Queen--
a rebuke of her faithlessness, false flattery and ingratitude.
Daisies to King, in irony of innocence and purity,
as well to him, Rue...a symbol of regret and sorrow.
Violets would he also have received...a mark of early death.
Yet, she had none, long dried in sleep with own father.
Rue, to herself, would also give...
a reminder of regret, now, and as would come to pass.
Oh, what 'singleness of heart.'
And there yonder! Oh innocent willow by the brook...
broken of pain, forever to blame,
for it is by you she would clamber
to waters soothing of troubled mind.
It is by you, warm of flesh, lithe of limb,
would that watery grave enter...
never to return.
Perchance, as now, to sleep that deep sleep beneath your bough,
such her will to dream in barren lands of place not known,
free of burdens those in pity would seek,
where, they, her sorrows would grasp.
Her palms, salient in gesture,
upturned as the branches of the willow,
as if to signal a kinship with.
At peace and free, at one with nature be.
Perhaps, even in hope of heaven...
a release of now.
This she knows, for on she goes, on she goes.
Cleansed in flesh, a garland of Violets now wears.
Her baptism, cold, in that sunlit pool--
forever still...too soon, too soon.
As her last, the bindweed and lilies part
in honour of her wake.
On, and on, beneath the arms of a willow that weeps
as the sun bares witness to her soft release.
Past the spinning silkworms in weave, for her, a rose.
Eyes wide open, yet, unseeing...on that gentle shallow bed.
Fluorescent, still, her sequined dress, billowing on waters:
Her parted red lips, cold and still,
shall no more command.
"Lay her I' the earth!"
Let flowers pay homage, as now she a part.
Sweet as sweet...
For, Ophelia, Ophelia, thou art fair indeed
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Please if would read this just for dollars, I pray you, hop over as it is a work, and quite long. I would wish no more than your fair attention, as accolades mean little, or nothing to me without your true endorsement and the pleasure it gives of knowing my work read...with interest and pleasure for the theme would be a wonderful bonus. I have tried to keep the Elizabethan language to a minimum as to suffice both. Thank you so much for reading.
There may be some who may ask about voice audio with this. As much as I would have loved to, almost sad that couldn't, for it would have simply been too overpowering, considering its length and subject matter, so I hope the backdrop of the Elizabethan piece from my friend and composer, Kerri Powles will aid this through.
Though many a learned of you may be familiar with Shakespeare's Hamlet, which would make the following of this easier, I have written it in consideration also of those who may not be so familiar, in creating a journey and emotion within itself.
Ophelia, a character from that play, who is led to betray one whom she loves, through the direction of her own father, the Queen (Hamlets mother) and King (Hamlet's uncle), who is now his father, after murdering Hamlet's real father and marrying his mother, once queen to his real father. Hamlet would be heartbroken from her betrayal. As such, Ophelia would think him deluded or mad from his speech during her own betrayal of him, not knowing he had sensed being betrayed. As such, he suddenly cries out and screams that there would be no marriage, or words to such. This, a reaction to a trap, set up in the Nunnery, where the two would be eavesdropped on.
As this write is not about Hamlet, but Ophelia, no need to elaborate more on his actions, only to say, for a little clarity into Ophelia's madness:
After following and speaking to the ghost of his betrayed father, Hamlet is told that he died by the hands of the uncle, Hamlet's now Father, through the marriage to his mother. Hamlet becomes obsessed with revenge, given oath to the father's ghost, and in a mishap, kills Ophelia's father, mistaken for his now father, the King. Ofelia falls into madness.
As said, this write is about Ophelia not Hamlet hence why I have kept his name out of the main Poem by referring to him when necessary, as 'He' 'His' or Him, for it could have been easy that his name took focus from the main theme as Ophelia's character is derived from Hamlet, the play.
FlOWERS AND SHAKESPEARE
Shakespeare was also an expert amateur botanist with over 200 species of flowers, fruits herbs and plants, recognized as mentioned in his many works, from his beautiful sonnets to staggering plays.
"Twenty-nine scenes take place in groomed gardens and well-tended orchards. Plants, and plant lore, were important sources of metaphors for Shakespeare."
Rue comes to mind and is from an "Old English word hreowan," which means "to make sorry," It is still used as a modern verb often looking back at the past. Shakespeare made famous the phrase "rue the day," which as you know means; a regret of the moment or time, a phrase often used.
As a plant, because of its bitter taste it has long been associated with regret and sorrow . Hence the expression "you'll rue the day, meaning. you'll be sorry for this."
The Daisy, (English term) whose name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon daeges eage, "day's eye," is in reference of the flower opening during the day and its close at night, associated, therefore, with innocence and purity.
Violets... have a special interest for me, for it was the name of my mother who died tragically early of Cancer. Perhaps fitting the emotion of this write as it came to mind. Violets are associated, by tradition of their actions, with early death. Shakespeare used Hamlet's voice in saying during his play:
"The violet's scent...Sweet, not lasting, the perfume and suppliance of a minute, no more"
Rosemary has been associated with remembrance since the Golden Age of Greece, when students wore garlands of rosemary while studying to strengthen their memories. Its name comes from the Latin rosmarinus, "dew of the sea," referring to its blue flowers and rosemary's Mediterranean habitat on cliffs above the sea. In Shakespeare's time it was carried by bridesmaids at weddings and used in funeral wreaths.
"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember."
A speech by Ophelia in Hamlet when giving Laertes, her brother, rosemary.
Could also refer to her fragile self image, and of course, her lack of confidence.
(All flowers capitalized for their importance and emphasis.)
"Lay her I' the earth!" =a quote from the play at her funeral.
Wake = a vigil held beside the body of someone who has died, sometimes accompanied by ritual observances.
'Him' 'His' He' = Hamlet
Salient = (of an angle) pointing outwards.
Dutiful = obediently fulfilling one's duty.
Salubrious = Wholesome, health-giving; healthy (in smile,)
Acquiescent. unprotesting, ready to accept without protest, or to do what someone else wants.
'Singleness of heart' = singleheartedness -devotion to a task or endeavour.
Also connected religiously or spiritually, as in Jeremiah 32:39:
I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them.
Painting (Tate Gallery) by John Everett Millais, 1852
Music by my dear friend and composer- Kerri Powles
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