To the shade of Christopher Marlowe

My darling Kit, they’ve caught you again
no worldly stage enlarged enough
always this rank and compare
parse, parsimonious
praise too faint too late
you can’t escape


Having fun with this news item, my enduring fascination with Marlowe and (why not?) another nonet.

Of the din and of the darkness

Come, therefore, mournful Muses, and lament;

And sorrow feed, feeding our souls with sorrow,

Lost to all music now, since everything

From the dull confines of the drooping West

Death says he will undo and drag down low,

And whisper to their souls to go.

Aye, we must die an everlasting death

And see the brave day sunk in hideous night,

His rage, with razing your immortal town,

The burg broken and burnt to brands and ashes.

When night’s black mantle could most darkness prove

A true retreat of sorrow and despair,

Let us roll all our strength, and all

We shall new shadows make the other way.


Another cento, title from Piers Plowman. Click the last word of each line to find its source.