Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.

Dunsinane Castle


By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

(From Macbeth)

MACBETH.Hang out our banners! on the outward walls

The cry is still, They come!—Our Castle’s strength

Will laugh a siege to scorn; here let them lie,

Till famine and the ague eat them up.

Were they not ’forc’d with those that should be ours,

We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,

And beat them backward home.—What is that noise?

A cry within, of women.
SEYTON.It is the cry of women, my good lord.

MACB.I have almost forgot the taste of fears.

The time has been, my senses would have quail’d

To hear a night-shriek; and my fell of hair

Would at a dismal treatise rouse, and stir

As life were in ’t. I have supp’d full with horrors;

Direness, familiar to my slaught’rous thoughts,

Cannot once start me.—Wherefore was that cry?

SEY.The Queen, my lord, is dead.

MACB.She should have died hereafter;

There would have been a time for such a word.—

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life ’s but a walking shadow; a poor player,

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.—

Thou com’st to use thy tongue; thy story quickly.

MESS.Gracious my lord, I should report that which

I saw, but know not how to do it.

MACB.Well, say, sir.

MESS.As I did stand my watch upon the hill,

I look’d toward Birnam, and anon, methought,

The wood began to move.

MACB.Liar and slave!

MESS.Let me endure your wrath, if ’t be not so;

Within this three mile may you see it coming.

I say, a moving grove.

MACB.If thou speak’st false,

Upon the next tree shalt thou hang alive,

Till famine cling thee; if thy speech be sooth,

I care not if thou dost for me as much.—

I pull in resolution; and begin

To doubt the equivocation of the Fiend,

That lies like truth: Fear not, till Birnam-wood

Do come to Dunsinane; and now a wood

Comes toward Dunsinane. Arm, arm, and out!—

If this, which he avouches, does appear,

There is nor flying hence, nor tarrying here.

I ’gin to be a-weary of the sun,

And wish the estate o’ the world were now undone.—

Ring the alarum-bell; blow, wind! come wrack!

At least we ’ll die with harness on our back.