Orlando

I. Miranda.

I was born in an age of plague and grief
Called God’s wrath on sinners across the land
When leaders laughed at our pleas for relief
Content to murder us by their idle hand

How distant now those dark and bloody days
The plague now lies quelled (if it’s not quite gone)
The fallen forgotten, the past a haze
We are risen; we thrive; the world goes on

But Orlando reveals the past lives still
(I hear the truth through tears and broken breaths)
In all who would slay us, or urge to kill
And in the honeyed lies that meet our deaths

We were ready to believe love had won
To cast off our cares, dance for joy and pride
A dream ended soon as it had begun
As the pulse of our hope shuddered and died

II. Caliban.

Love wins, we crowed! It was a pretty lie
Doesn’t the truth make for a bitter pill?
Love freely, love well, and yet you may die
You are hated, and feared, and outcast still

They call us monsters, stoke the people’s fears
(Easier to rule those fore’er afraid)
Thus they cut by the inches, down the years
Hoping all we’ve fought for might be unmade

If you can, take solace in this small fact:
In death, those in power may spare you thought
And offer prayers – but they shall never act
Nor will all our deaths convince them they ought

In wide-eyed innocence they will proclaim
That they never meant our blood to be spilled
They’ll soon forget the latest face, or name
And think the wages of our sin fulfilled

III. Prospero.

And what damned use to anyone am I
Who stands idle as others die by fear
“The blood is on your hands!” I shriek and cry
And yet: I do not stand unbloodied here

I have sworn my heart and my soul to peace
(The Rede: An it harms none, do as thou will)
But what good’s my oath when they will not cease
When they bully us, shun us, beat us, kill?

O from certain fathoms beneath the Earth
Let me fetch my staff, its breaking reverse
Darkling magics I conceive, and would birth
O grief, o rage, now give me arts to curse!

From the depths of my despair, my ire
From the places where heart and soul go strange
Let my words be swords, my anger, fire
To break hostile hearts, and in breaking, change

IV. Puck.

Fair lords and ladies, we’ll merry still
Betimes we will jest, and make you smile
But if we die, by your act or your will
Trust we’ll suit deed to bitter bile

Every death or cut: let a price be paid
If done by bloody deed, or unkind turn
Or by a hateful law our betters made
Let us pay what consequence they might earn

Let Pulse be our pulse, our spirit, our hearts
Let it stoke the fires deep in our core
Let it fuel our marches, our deeds, our arts
Until all our kindred suffer no more

From this dream we must now forever wake
Spurn our erstwhile foes, our falsest friends
Skip hence, and what they will not give, we’ll take
From grief arise, and let us

pay

amends

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