Weekly Interlinear Poem




David Garrick as Richard III




This is the poem
for the week of April 27.
A new interlinear poem
is available each Monday.

Send me e-mail - robert15115@gmail.com
Robert Jackson

"Now is the winter of our discontent"

-Shakespeare's Richard III


Gloucester (later Richard III):
Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York,
the sun is also the son of York
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
clouds=the former rulers (House of Lancaster)
lour'd=frowned (the apostrophe suggests
a one-syllable pronunciation - not lour-ed)

In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
buried=are buried
(three-syllable pronunciation - bur-i-ed)

Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments,
bruised - two-syllable pronunciation - bruis-ed
arms=armaments
bruised - the word was chosen because arms (limbs)
are bruised

Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
measures=dance rhythms
Grim-visaged War hath smoothed his wrinkled front,
front=forehead
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds
barbed=armed and harnessed
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
fearful=full of fear
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
he=grim-visaged War
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks
sportive tricks=amorous mischief
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass,
court . . .=look in a mirror for self-satisfaction
I, that am rudely stamped and want love's majesty
rudely stamped - Richard was a hunchback
want=lack

To strut before a wanton ambling nymph,
wanton ambling nymph=lustful prancing woman
I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
curtailed of this fair proportion=cut short of this lovely shape
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
dissembling=lying (Richard doesn't think much of nature)
Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
Into this breathing world scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them,
halt=limp
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace
piping=playing cheerful tunes
Have no delight to pass away the time
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
spy=see
And descant on my own deformity.
descant=comment





Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York,
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments,
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged War hath smoothed his wrinkled front,
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass,
I, that am rudely stamped and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph,
I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
Into this breathing world scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them,
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace
Have no delight to pass away the time
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on my own deformity.