by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravined salt-sea shark,
25Root of hemlock digged i' th' dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat and slips of yew
Slivered in the moon’s eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,
30Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-delivered by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab.
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingredients of our cauldron.
Here come some more ingredients: the scale of a dragon, a wolf’s tooth, a witch’s mummified flesh, the gullet and stomach of a ravenous shark, a root of hemlock that was dug up in the dark, a Jew’s liver, a goat’s bile, some twigs of yew that were broken off during a lunar eclipse, a Turk’s nose, a Tartar’s lips, the finger of a baby that was strangled as a prostitute gave birth to it in a ditch. (to the ingredients) Make this potion thick and gluey. (to the other WITCHES) Now let’s add a tiger’s entrails to the mix.
35Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.
We’ll cool the mixture with baboon blood. After that the charm is finished.
Enter HECATE and the other three WITCHES
HECATE enters with three other WITCHES.
Oh well done! I commend your pains,
40And every one shall share i' th' gains.
And now about the cauldron sing,
Like elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.
Well done! I admire your efforts, and all of you will share the rewards. Now come sing around the cauldron like a ring of elves and fairies, enchanting everything you put in.
Music and a song: “Black spirits,” &c. HECATE retires
Music plays and the six WITCHES sing a song called “Black Spirits.” HECATE leaves.
By the pricking of my thumbs,
45Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks,
Whoever knocks.
I can tell that something wicked is coming by the tingling in my thumbs. Doors, open up for whoever is knocking!

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