Who art living that would not be drove mad
By hate? Vengeance? By the words of a ghost?
Upon hearing from his father’s lips
The very manner of his uncle’s boast –
That it were murder; treason; betrayal;
Which gave him brother’s throne, and sister’s bed?
How other than mad can be he who hears
The contrivance by which his mother wed?
Aye, thou art mad, to be sure; but not so
Mad as they see, for there is method there.
However, not the method they think it,
For sanity yet lives beyond thy stare.
Hamlet! Oh, Hamlet! Do please tell us true,
Is thy madness but an act, or a veil
Intended only to mete out the truth?
Or have thy senses become truly frail?
I swear by God ‘tis true, if not first mad,
Hamlet, mad thou certainly have become!
Beguiled by hate, and stalked by a ghost,
Thy mind is struck senseless, thy senses, numb,
What love thine heart once held has been murdered
By the very same poison as took he,
Thy father, from upon the very seat –
Where thine uncle now sits – ‘twas meant for thee!
Who can blame thy madness – if mad thou be –
Or thy loss of affection for thy maid,
When witness to thine uncle’s contrition.
And thy mother’s fickle heart so displayed?
Oh yes, Hamlet, thou art mad – ‘tis so,
But madness does not insanity make;
Madness is much more befitting a prince,
Than “sane” acts made by an uncle, a rake.
© 2015 The Poet Darkling™