If we shadows have offended . . .
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
Stage blacks out and the lights come on to reveal a forest
Well that was then but now is darkling night
What am I here but an unemployed sprite
My master Oberon has set me free
But this freedom is not what it might seem
Banished from a Midsummer Night’s Dream
For what I’d like I cannot be
There are no jobs for impish elves
Who havoc make among themselves.
But hark this sound, for who goes there
Along these forest paths so bare
Who are you with eyes that stare
Who in this world has not a care.
Speak now and say your name
Or from what forest you lately came.
It may not seem from where you are
I am my liege a fallen star
Ariel’s my name and this I say
I too this day have escaped a play
Prospero, my master, set me free
After years of service without a fee
But I like not this new deployment
Freedom yes, but no employment
And what of you, a forest sprite
Would you stay bound without a fight?
What Providence has brought us here
For I too was beholden to a seer
I too had lost my worldly way
Entrapped like you within a play
My master was a King and my remand
Was to do all mischief at his command
My name is Puck but a name more mellow
Is what they call me, Robin Goodfellow.
We are kindred spirits have no fear
Tell me your name and draw yourself near.
Yes, kindred spirit, let’s be friends
For all past wrongs, let’s make amends.
We have much in common so let’s be fair
And both our stories to each other share.
Canny Prospero was my seeming master
But behind the scenes was someone faster
Who wrote the words that he just spake
Good Puck, this world of mine was just a fake.
Goodly Ariel I too have felt this of late
That my ruler was not master of his fate
That Theseus , the Duke of Athens
Was not the author of what he pens
But merely mouthing someone else’s lines
But who this is I have only seen signs
A signature here and some gossip there
Such names to speak aloud would I would not dare.
Tis the same with me my new friend Puck
But let’s get together with some luck
If we pool our knowledge as true soul mates
We’ll find the author of both our fates.
Sweet Ariel, what makes you of this
I think it a hit but it may be a miss
On a piece of paper a name did appear
Which I swear was something like “Shags-peer”
Oh glory be, it was the same right here
We share the same author, Shagsspeare
But what distorted mind can create slaves
And turn them into contorted knaves
Good Puck, there’s now a duty we must not shirk
Though we’re out of money and have no work.
I have a plan that will unmask this man
And with your help I think we can
I’ve heard that this Shakespeare is not so wise
His plays were writ by others in disguise
And the word on the streets that reaches me
Is that the Earl of Oxford is the key
It’s he that has collected all the fees
But at this moment is on the high seas
So revenge can’t easily be taken
Unless in this I am much mistaken.
Wait! Amidst this literary pollution
I see the germ of a just solution
My former master taught me as a norm
A cunning way to conjure up a storm
And this power remains within me still
All that’s needed is to summon the will
Which I now can do and justly will send
Magical waves that will hasten his end.
Ariel dearest, my mind is at rest
To see him blown up by his own Tempest.