The Tempest

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

ARIEL

(sings)
Full fathom five thy father lies.
Of his bones are coral made.
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell

ARIEL

(singing)
Your father lies five whole

fathoms

1 fathom = 6 feet

fathoms
below
,
His bones have turned to coral now.
His eyes have turned to pearls.
There’s nothing left of him,
He’s undergone a complete sea change
And become something rich and strange.
Sea nymphs ring his death bell every hour.

SPIRITS

(within) Ding-dong.

SPIRITS

(refrain, offstage)Ding-dong.

ARIEL

Hark, now I hear them.

ARIEL

Listen, I hear them.

SPIRITS

(within)  Ding-dong, bell.

SPIRITS

Ding dong, bell.

FERDINAND

The ditty does remember my drowned father.
400This is no mortal business, nor no sound
That the earth owes. I hear it now above me.

FERDINAND

This song’s about my dead father. It couldn’t be sung by mere mortals. I hear it now overhead.

PROSPERO 

(to MIRANDA) The fringèd curtains of thine eye advance
And say what thou seest yond.

PROSPERO

(to MIRANDA) Raise the curtains of your eyelids and go take a peek at what you can see out there.

MIRANDA

    What is ’t? A spirit?
Lord, how it looks about! Believe me, sir,
405It carries a brave form. But ’tis a spirit.

MIRANDA

What is it? A spirit? Lord, it’s glancing every which way! How handsome it is. It must be a spirit.

PROSPERO

No, wench! It eats and sleeps and hath such senses
As we have, such. This gallant which thou seest
Was in the wrack. And, but he’s something stained
With grief that’s beauty’s canker, thou mightst call him
410A goodly person. He hath lost his fellows
And strays about to find 'em.

PROSPERO

No, girl! It eats and sleeps and has the same five senses we do. The gentleman you see now was in the shipwreck, and if he weren’t a little spoiled by grief, which always ruins good looks, you could call him handsome. He’s lost his comrades and is wandering around looking for them.