Let me explain a few things in my verse -
To speak of all of them I have no right.
I vas conceived in sin, like all of us, -
The sweat and jitters of the wedding night.
I knew that as we rise above the earth
We learn the harshness thatís in power inherent.
I neared the throne with dignity and worth.
With all the hubris of an heir apparent.
I knew Iíd have my way no matter what.
I never suffered loss or was let down,
Companions of the schooldesk and the sword
All served me as their fathers served the crown.
I never bothered to select my words,
What came into my head. I simply tossed
To highborn youths, and was believed: I was
By right of birth their undisputed boss.
Night watchmen feared us, feared for their life.
We were the timeís disease, the timeís murrain,
I slept on skins, I ate meat off a knife,
I always gave my vicious horse free rein.
I knew I would be told one day, "Be king!"
Since birth, I felt a mark on my brow burning.
The sounds of tourneys were like heady drink.
But I was patient, too, with books and learning.
I smiled - the smile, though, at the eyes would stop.
When life seemed vulgar, empty, vicious, boring,
My bitter anguish I concealed, brought up
By Jester, now long dead. Amen, poor Yorick!
But I refused to enter in the fight
For privileges, glory, spoils and booty.
All of sudden, for a page who died.
For all young, fragile life I felt such pity...
I soon forgot my passion for the chase,
I haled now my greyhounds and my beagles;
Away from wounded quarry I would race,
And I would lash at huntsmen and at beaters.
I now could see our games with every day
Become more crude, outrageous, pitiless.
At night, in secret I would wash away
The filth and scum of daytime swinishness.
My eyes were opened, but my plight grew worse.
Intrigues and schemes at court I overlooked.
I scorned the age, its men - and I immersed
Myself in ancient manuscripts and books.
All knowledge, like a sponge, absorbed my brain.
I studied rest and motion in elation,
But sciences and Muses are in vain
When everywhere you see their refutation.
What tied me to my mates I could not see,
And Ariadneís thread proved a false schema.
I racked my brains - to be or not to be -
As if it really were a great dilemma.
Our arrows fall on this eternal sea
Of troubles, wretchedness and slavery.
Like millet in a sieve, we try to sift
A ghostly answer from this mannered query.
Through rumbles, I could hear my fatherís cry.
I answered it, though doubts rose like a wave.
My thoughts - my burden - pulled me to the sky,
The wings of flesh drove mc towards the grave.
I was an alloy smelted by my days,
So fragile it broke up before it set.
Like all the world, I shed blood, and, as they,
Could not resist revenge - it was too sweet.
My rise before my death was a descent.
Ophelia, I reject filth and decay,
But through a murder I debased myself -
No better than the man I had to slay.
Iím Hamlet. I abhorred all violence,
I did not care much for the Danish crown,
But in their eyes I was a cut-throat prince
Who killed a rival for his fatherís throne.
A genius bursts like a delirious cry.
At birth, death shows his visage, grim and leery.
We pose again the tricky old reply
And cannot find the necessary query.