The play is done; the curtain drops, Slow falling to the prompter's bell A moment yet the actor stops And looks around to say farewell. It is an irksome word and task: And when he's laughed and said his say He shows, as he removes the mask, A face that's anything but gay.
Let every eye negotiate for itself And trust no agent; for beauty is a witch Against whose charms faith melteth into blood. This is an accident of hourly proof, Which I mistrusted not. Farewell, therefore, Hero!
And these few precepts in thy memory Look thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportion'd thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar; The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware Of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in, Bear't that th' opposed may beware of thee. Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice; Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy; For the apparel oft proclaims the man, And they in France of the best rank and station Are most select and generous, chief in that. Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry, This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell; my blessing season this in thee!
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
Source: Hamlet (Folger Shakespeare Library), Pages: Act I Scene iii
Farewell, a long farewell to all my greatness! This is the state of man: today he puts forth The tender leaves of hope, tomorrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon him: The third day comes a frost, a killing frost, And - when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a-ripening - nips his root, And then he falls, as I do.