~ Ophelia ~
Some great change has happened;
I feel it even now, as if splinters of ice
had been jabbed into my veins.
My mind spins; I do not know
where to go with this.
I would go to Hamlet,
for only he has ever truly understood
the mingled pains and angers
of my life and soul.
But now it is he who seems transported;
his own mind fearfully unseated.
With the grey light that precedes dawn
filling my chamber,
I opened eyes that I had scarcely realized
to have closed; and there he stood.
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;
pale as his shirt; his knees trembling;
and with a look so piteous in purport
as if he had been loosed out of hell
to speak of horrors --
-- he came before me.
He took me by the wrist and held me hard;
then goes he to the length of all his arm;
and, with his other hand thus over his brow,
he falls to such perusal of my face
as he would draw it.
Long stayed he so;
at last, a little shaking of my arm
and thrice his head thus waving up and down,
he raised a sigh so piteous and profound
as it did seem to shatter all his bulk
and end his being.
That done, he let me go:
and, with his head over his shoulder, turned,
he seemed to find his way without his eyes;
for out of doors he went without their help,
And, to the last, bended their light on me.
What has he seen,
that could so damage that noble mind
which I have so long sought
my own inspiration from?
Hamlet and I have often talked of madness.
Sometimes it is in play;
a mock of the small minds
that seem ever to surround us.
We tease them by thinking our own desires
a product of some strange twist in our natures;
and celebrate that strangeness,
as if it were a balm, not a poison.
But sometimes, I confess, true madness
seems to creep close
upon the edges of our shared words;
Even our bodies seem afire with it;
it rises in my throat
as if to scream outward,
in moments that have been epiphanies to me.
I have never feared those frantic, jagged instants
for I knew we would embrace them together.
Why did he not speak to me?
What has he seen?
Who can I turn to that might help me understand?
Can it be that he could journey
into the unmapped, broken country of the soul
alone; forsaking me?
Leaving me behind?
Let it not be so.
That would be beyond bearing.