Juliet, Romeo and Juliet
by Olivia Rose
(Elmhurst, IL, U.S.A.)
Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?
Ah, poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth thy name,
When I, thy three hours' wife, have mangled it?
But wherefore, villain, didst thou kill my cousin?
That villain cousin would have killed my husband.
Back, foolish tears, back to your native spring.
Your tributary drops belong to woe,
Which you, mistaking, offer up to joy.
My husband lives, that Tybalt would have slain,
And Tybalt’s dead, that would have slain my husband.
All this is comfort. Wherefore weep I then?
Some word there was, worser than Tybalt’s death,
That murdered me. I would forget it fain,
But oh, it presses to my memory,
Like damnèd guilty deeds to sinners' minds.
“Tybalt is dead, and Romeo banishèd.”
That “banishèd,” that one word “banishèd”
Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts. Tybalt’s death
Was woe enough, if it had ended there.
Or, if sour woe delights in fellowship
And needly will be ranked with other griefs,
Why followed not, when she said “Tybalt’s dead,”
“Thy father” or “thy mother,” nay, or both,
Which modern lamentations might have moved?
But with a rearward following Tybalt’s death,
“Romeo is banishèd.” To speak that word,
Is father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet,
All slain, all dead. “Romeo is banishèd.”
There is no end, no limit, measure, bound,
In that word’s death. No words can that woe sound.