Nahum Tate
lear and cordelia

Speak up for Nahum Tate. He could not bear
to see it end like that. Who would not rather
see a play in which Cordelia
is reunited with her poor crack'd father
in a flurry of goodwill, a joyous blur
of recognition and redemption? We
should doff our hats and throw them in the air,
exchanging our good wishes lustily.

Then Goneril and Regan too, transfigured,
arm in arm, come creeping shyly back;
Kent and the Fool embrace, and - I'll be jiggered -
even Edmund, not a wit abashed,
bounds out of the shadows to declare
a general amnesty: no-one was murdered
quite, and nothing marred beyond repair.
It all ends well. Just what the Doctor ordered.

David Callin

If you have any comments on this poem, David Callin would be pleased to hear from you.