Tuesday, 3 July 2012


“Lay her i' the earth: And from her fair and unpolluted flesh May violets spring!” – William Shakespeare, “Hamlet” Act 5, Scene 1

Magpie Tales has chosen a beautiful Odilon Redon painting for this week’s prompt. Bertrand-Jean Redon, better known as Odilon Redon (April 20, 1840 – July 6, 1916) was a French symbolist painter, printmaker, draughtsman and pastellist. His beautiful pastel toned, flower-filled and richly contemplative art works well suit the subject of the painting above – “Ophelia”.

I could not resist the Shakespearean allusions, so here is my offering with apologies to the bard…

Ophelia’s Song

There’s rosemary that’s for remembrance,
And parsley (such a melancholy herb),
Sweet marjoram and pungent thyme
All for a posy of herbs watered with tears.

He says he loves, but is it me,
Or are his sighs and sunken cheeks
A sign of sweet affection
For another?

The cornflower’s blue – just like his eyes
And red his mouth, just like a fragrant rose –
There’s rue for me, and tears aplenty,
No balm nor basil will my painful heart assuage.

He looks at me and sees me not,
His heart too distant and his hand ice cold;
The fires within him burn, but
For another!

Oh laurel green, fit for a wreath,
And cypress dark and melancholy
Fit for my sorrow garden
Where opium poppies grow.

I wither as his thoughts are far removed from me,
His soul will seek me not,
While he would lay down his life
For another…


And as the silvern moon sinks down the western sky,
Ophelia gently, sweetly, drowns…


  1. Rich with angst and melancholy...

  2. I love the way you have woven all the herbs in you poem like a fragrant funeral wreath.

    Lovely as always.

  3. This left me quite sad - poor Ophelia. Sad, sad write.

    Anna :o]

  4. There’s rue for me, and tears aplenty,

    I often feel exactly the same!

  5. Truly beautiful lines to tell the Ophelia story - thanks.