The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday and Blackfriars Playhouse

Lament for Zenocrate
By Christopher Marlowe

Black is the beauty of the brightest day,
The golden belle of heaven's eternal fire,
That danced with glory on the silver waves,
Now wants the fuel that inflamed his beams:
And all with faintness and for foul disgrace,
He binds his temples with a frowning cloud,
Ready to darken earth with endless night:
Zenocrate that gave him light and life,
Whose eyes shot fire from their ivory bowers,
And tempered every soul with lively heat,
Now by the malice of the angry skies,
Whose jealousy admits no second mate,
Draws in the comfort of her latest breath
All dazzled with the hellish mists of death.
Now walk the angels on the walls of heaven,
As sentinels to warn th'immortal souls,
To entertain divine Zenocrate.
Apollo, Cynthia, and the ceaseless lamps
That gently looked upon this loathsome earth,
Shine downwards now no more, but deck the heavens
To entertain divine Zenocrate.
The crystal springs whose taste illuminates
Refined eyes with an eternal sight,
Like tried silver runs through Paradise
To entertain divine Zenocrate.
The Cherubins and holy Seraphins
That sing and play before the King of Kings,
Use all their voices and their instruments
To entertain divine Zenocrate.
And in this sweet and curious harmony,
The God that tunes this music to our souls,
Holds out his hand in highest majesty
To entertain divine Zenocrate.
Then let some holy trance convey my thoughts,
Up to the palace of th'imperial heaven:
That this my life may be as short to me
As are the days of sweet Zenocrate.


We are home after another lovely day in Staunton with Cheryl, where, after breakfast in the hotel, we went walking around the sleepy town, looking at the churches and visiting the firehouse with restored 1911 fire engine and 9/11 memorial. As the shops started to open, we went to see glassblowing at Sunspots Studios, had lunch at Taste of India which has possibly the best vegetarian Indian buffet in the mid-Atlantic, tried to visit the maps exhibit at the Augusta County Historical Society though it was closed, and stopped in the Staunton visitor's center.

Then we went to see Marlowe's Edward II, which was excellent -- I have seen two filmed versions but had never seen it performed live, and as always the acting at the American Shakespeare Center was terrific and the production very dynamic with a minimum of props. There were a few audience members apparently scandalized by the actors kissing on stage, who fled at the intermission, making us wonder what they were expecting from the very homoerotic poster even if they knew nothing about the drama. We were more shocked that they portrayed the deposed king's ultimate fate on stage.


Sorry about the quality of the photos -- I had thought none were allowed, so only had my phone with me, though they let audience members back into the Blackfriars after the play ended to take pictures. We said goodbye to Cheryl and had a relatively traffic-free if depressingly-in-the-dark drive back home, where we arrived just in time for Once Upon a Time, which we ate dinner while watching. Now we are watching the horror that is the Ravens-Steelers game -- let's just say that Baltimore is having an even worse day than DC football-wise -- and petting our neglected cats.

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