The poetry prompt was to write a poem using only the words of one character in one scene or speech in a Shakespeare play. So I decided to write one using Bottom’s speech after he wakes up, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act IV, Scene I. I wanted to try and write him a death speech – before falling asleep, so to speak, rather than after waking up – and it’s an older, wiser, humbler Bottom, and in proper iambic pentameter (because he’s a serious character now). Here it is.
If Bottom’s cue is next: to be no more
And sing an answer to God’s gracious flute
This ass, this fool will be a man and go
His eye hath seen, his ear hath heard the call
But when this play of life is at an end
Will I expound it more, this dream I had?
My ballad, peradventure, hath no heart
My tongue, asleep, can offer no report
My life hath stolen hence – no vision comes
No more shall mender make a patched me
Methought I was a duke; I am a man
I shall conceive of death, and her fair hand