Committing to read the complete works of Shakespeare through the course of 2018 was an iffy proposition from the beginning. As I began to fall behind during the second month of suggested readings, I realized the goal, however lofty, wouldn’t be achieved.
On the other hand, I did continue reading throughout the year, and at its end had discovered unsuspected treasures in Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays. Especially pleasing were innumerable nature references I’d never noticed, and a delightful collection of songs tucked into the plays. Many of those songs, set to music by various composers and arrangers, continue to be performed today.
In Act 2, Scene 7 of the pastoral comedy As You Like It, a musician named Lord Amiens sings before a group of exiles in the forest. Seeing what the winter wind recently wrought in one of my favorite groves, I couldn’t help remembering, and appreciating, his song.
“Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind” ~ Folger Consort
Folger Consort is the early music ensemble-in-residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.
Blow, blow, thou winter’s wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
Thou dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friends remembered not.
Comments always are welcome.