Magazine article The Spectator

Angels over Elsinore

Magazine article The Spectator

Angels over Elsinore

Article excerpt

How many angels knew who Hamlet was

When they were summoned by Horatio?

They probably showed up only because

The roster said it was their turn to go.

Another day, another Dane. Too bad,

But while they sang their well-rehearsed lament

They noticed his good looks. Too soon, too sad,

This welcome home for what seemed heaven-sent.

Imagine having been with him down there!

But here I dream, for angels do not yearn.

They take up their positions in the air

Free from the passions of the earth they spurn.

Even their singing is done less from joy

Than duty. But was this the usual thing?

Surely they gazed on that recumbent boy,

Clearly cut out one day to be a king,

And sang him to his early rest above

With soaring pride that they should form the choir

Whose voices echoed all the cries of love,

Which, even when divine, implies desire? …

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