Shortly after the London day on Thursday, we departed from Oxford again, this time, to Stratford-upon-Avon, the place of Shakespeare. I did choose Stratford as my excursion destination for A reason.
We gathered at the central theatre but it was a pity that we had no time to actually enjoy a theatre play, because it would last at least three hours. We walked through the Bancroft Gardens and saw the sitting statue of Shakespeare surrounded by four vivid sculptures of his most characters: Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, Prince Hal and Falstaff. Then we went along the Henley Street to Shakespeare’s birthplace, which was quite well conserved. Unfortunately, it’s not open to the public for free… Soon we turned around and headed for the Holy Trinity Church, also taking short visits to the Guild Chapel and some other interests as passing by. The church lies at the heart of the cemetery where crusted tombstones stand. The church has exquisitely painted windows, under which the literary giant’s tomb peacefully sleeps in front of the holy cross.
The afternoon elapsed soon as I hired a hunt and spent hours on the serene River Avon, trying to recall some happy not so long ago… And we got back to Oxford in the crepuscular sunlight.
Now in my bright room, I am reciting the sentences, again:
Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath,
Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty.
Thou art not conquered. Beauty’s ensign yet
Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks,
And death’s pale flag is not advanced there.
Will I set up my everlasting rest,
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last.
Arms, take your last embrace. And, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death.
I first read this chapter of Romeo’s death the night before my best friend’s funeral.
He was not only a big brother, but also a life-long role model of mine.
He perished of a heart attack, at the age of sixteen.
I am seeing nothing but fog.