August 11, 2009

My Absent Child

Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me,
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form;
Then, have I reason to be fond of grief?
Fare you well: had you such a loss as I,
I could give better comfort than you do.—
I will not keep this form upon my head,
When there is such disorder in my wit.
O Lord! my boy, my Arthur, my fair son!
My life, my joy, my food, my all the world!
My widow-comfort, and my sorrows' cure!
—William Shakepeare as spoken by Constance in The Life and Death of King John

Source: The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor for Tuesday, August 11, 2009
>> On this day in 1596, William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway buried their only son, Hamnet, who died at the age of 11 of unknown causes. At that time in England, about one third of children did not survive past the age of 10. Hamnet was named after Shakespeare's close friend, a baker, Hamlet Sadler. ("Hamnet" and "Hamlet" were virtually interchangeable names.) Hamnet had a twin sister Judith, named after the baker Hamlet's wife, Judith.

Posted by niganit at August 11, 2009 7:25 AM
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