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



By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

(From Macbeth)

MACBETH.So foul and fair a day I have not seen.

BANQUO.How far is ’t call’d to Fores?—What are these,

So wither’d, and so wild in their attire;

That look not like the inhabitants o’ the earth,

And yet are on ’t?—Live you? or are you aught

That man may question? You seem to understand me,

By each at once her choppy finger laying

Upon her skinny lips. You should be women,

And yet your beards forbid me to interpret

That you are so.

MACB.Speak, if you can; what are you?

1 WITCH.All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!

2 WITCH.All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!

3 WITCH.All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be King hereafter.

BAN.Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear

Things that do sound so fair?—I’ the name of truth,

Are ye fantastical, or that indeed

Which outwardly ye shew? My noble partner

You greet with present grace, and great prediction

Of noble having, and of royal hope,

That he seems rapt withal; to me you speak not.

If you can look into the seeds of Time,

And say, which grain will grow and which will not,

Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear

Your favors nor your hate.

1 WITCH.Hail!

2 WITCH.Hail!

3 WITCH.Hail!

1 WITCH.Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.

2 WITCH.Not so happy, yet much happier.

3 WITCH.Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none:

So, all hail, Macbeth, and Banquo!

1 WITCH.Banquo, and Macbeth, all hail!

MACB.Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more.

By Sinel’s death, I know, I am Thane of Glamis;

But how of Cawdor? the Thane of Cawdor lives,

A prosperous gentleman; and to be King

Stands not within the prospect of belief,

No more than to be Cawdor. Say, from whence

You owe this strange intelligence; or why

Upon this blasted heath you stop our way

With such prophetic greeting.—Speak, I charge you.[WITCHES vanish.

BAN.The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,

And these are of them.—Whither are they vanish’d!

MACB.Into the air; and what seem’d corporal melted

As breath into the wind.—Would they had staid!