Saturday, October 26, 2013

Shakespeare's Song of the Witches

A witch in Central Park.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witch's mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd in the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat; and slips of yew

Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab —
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For ingredients of our cauldron.

Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.


— William Shakespeare


Song of the Witches or The Witches Chant is from Act IV, Scene I of William Shakespeare's Macbeth. In the play each verse is spoken by one of three witches with all witches reciting the chorus. The Witches or Weird Sisters, who open Macbeth, represent darkness, chaos and conflict. The Witches predict Macbeth's ascencion to the throne in Act I and having predicted his rise also shadow his downfall.