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    William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

                from The Tempest

                      Ariel's Song

    Come unto these yellow sands,
              And then take hands:
    Curtsied when you have, and kiss'd
              The wild waves whist,
    Foot it featly here and there;
    And, sweet sprites, the burthen bear.
              Hark, hark!
              The watch-dogs bark.
              Hark, hark! I hear
              The strain of strutting chanticleer
              Cry, Cock-a-diddle-dow.

    Full fathom five thy father lies;
              Of his bones are coral made;
    Those are pearls that were his eyes:
              Nothing of him that doth fade,
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange.
    Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
    Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell.


In Act I, Scene II of The Tempest, the "airy Spirit" Ariel is ordered by Prospero to lead the shipwrecked Ferdinand to him. She does this by invisibly singing the above song to gain his attention and guide him by the sound of her voice. The second stanza is of particular relevance to Ferdinand since his father drowned.

Ariel's Song can be found, for example, in:

  • Shakespeare, William. Shakespeare's Comedy of the Tempest. William J. Rolfe, Ed. New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1892.

    The second stanza can be found under the title Full Fathom Five, for example, in:

  • Ferguson, Margaret, Mary Jo Salter, and Jon Stallworthy, eds. The Norton Anthology of Poetry (Fourth Edition). New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1996.