From The Duchess of Malfi (“O let us howl, some heavy note”)

Original Text: 
The Tragedy of The Duchess of Malfi (London: Printed by Nicholas Okes for John Waterson, 1623) sig. I4r-I4v / STC 25176
2     Some deadly-dogged howl,
3Sounding as from the threat'ning throat
4     Of beasts and fatal fowl.
5As ravens, screech-owls, bulls, and bears,
7Till irksome noise have cloyed your ears
8     And corrosived your hearts.
9At last when as our choir wants breath,
10     Our bodies being bless'd,
12     And die in love and rest.


1] This grotesque song is sung by a madman in Act four of the play, accompanied by ."a dismal kind of music.." Back to Line
6] bill: bellow Back to Line
11] Swans: it was a Renaissance commonplace that swans sang only once, just before death Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Christopher Matusiak
RPO Edition: