William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

Full Fathom Five


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:
Ding-dong.
Hark! now I hear them,--ding-dong, bell.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Andrew Hoellering (2/8/2010 4:41:00 PM)

    These lines from The Tempest are magical and rightly world-famous, and
    as with so much of Shakespeare, the phrase “a sea change” has entered world literature.
    Like Donne’s later sonnet ‘Death be Not proud, ’ this short verse is affirmative, treating a gloomy subject in an imaginative and positive way. (Report) Reply

  • D G (9/3/2009 11:01:00 AM)

    This is my favorite Shakespeare poem. Very melancholy, almost an epitaph, yet the sea change line gives it a sense of wonder about death.

    Beautiful. I love sailing, and this always reminds me of those lost at sea. (Report) Reply

  • Anong All (3/6/2005 7:17:00 PM)

    l must admit, that this is quite an interesting poem. l have read it many times, and each time l do, wonder sets in.
    With Respect,
    Jodilee (Report) Reply

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