Goodnight, Sweet Prince (A Tribute To Laurence Olivier)
Sweet and tender
Noble Hamlet by treachery slain.
And Romeo lies in a darkened tomb
No Juliet to save him with a palmer’s kiss.
Henry the Fifth, rebellious Hal
Is old and tired
His battles won
No Hotspur to challenge the royal throne.
Richard the Third, that villainous rogue,
Has breathed his last
“A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.”
His rage long spent
Victor and victim by the self-same hand.
And Lear, old fool
Can weep no more
In the mud and dust of a bloody field.
All are dead.
Dead and buried
In the couplets of an ancient rhyme.
But Olivier lives.
(Previously published in Aileron, Winter '99)