When I was studying Shakespeare in London in my junior year in college, my professor said that this speech from the Tempest's epilogue is often thought of as Shakespeare's farewell to his art. It is a poignant speech however we want to look at it, coming toward the end of Prospero's life.
Here is John Gielgud as Prospero presenting the speech:
Now my charms are all o'erthrown,
And what strength I have's mine own,
Which is most faint. Now 'tis true
I must be here confined by you
Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
Since I have my dukedom got,
And pardoned the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell;
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands.
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant;
And my ending is despair
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so, that it assaults
Mercy itself, and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardoned be,
Let your indulgence set me free
The Tempest, Act V, Epilogue
Loreena McKcKennit sings the verse here or here:
Here is the press release - note the release date. Before we get too interested though, the original release date for Love and Theft was September 11, 2001. Just one of those things, I guess.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW BOB DYLAN ALBUM – TEMPEST - SET FOR SEPTEMBER RELEASE
COLLECTION OF TEN NEW BOB DYLAN SONGS
MARKS MUSICIAN’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY AS A RECORDING ARTIST
Columbia Records announced today that Bob Dylan’s new studio album, Tempest, will be released on September 11, 2012. Featuring ten new and original Bob Dylan songs, the release of Tempest coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the artist’s eponymous debut album, which was released by Columbia in 1962.
Tempest is available for pre-order now on iTunes and Amazon. The new album, produced by Jack Frost, is the 35thth studio set from Bob Dylan, and follows 2009’s worldwide best-seller, Together Through Life.
Bob Dylan’s four previous studio albums have been universally hailed as among the best of his storied career, achieving new levels of commercial success and critical acclaim for the artist. The Platinum-selling Time Out Of Mind from 1997 earned multiple Grammy Awards, including Album Of The Year, while “Love and Theft” continued Dylan’s Platinum streak and earned several Grammy nominations and a statue for Best Contemporary Folk album.
Modern Times, released in 2006, became one of the artist’s most popular albums, selling more than 2.5 million copies worldwide and earning Dylan two more Grammys. Together Through Life became the artist’s first album to debut at #1 in both the U.S. and the UK, as well as in five other countries, on its way to surpassing sales of one million copies.
Those four releases fell within a 12-year creative span that also included the recording of an Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning composition, “Things Have Changed,” from the film Wonder Boys, in 2001; a worldwide best-selling memoir, Chronicles Vol. 1, which spent 19 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List, in 2004, and a Martin Scorsese-directed documentary, No Direction Home, in 2005. Bob Dylan also released his first collection of holiday standards, Christmas In The Heart, in 2009, with all of the artist’s royalties from that album being donated to hunger charities around the world.
This year, Bob Dylan was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. He was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.” He was also the recipient of the French Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in 1990, Sweden’s Polar Music Award in 2000 and several Doctorates including the University of St. Andrews and Princeton University as well as numerous other honors.
Here is a list of the tracks:
1. "Duquesne Whistle"2. "Soon After Midnight"3. "Narrow Way"4. "Long and Wasted Years"5. "Pay In Blood"6. "Scarlet Town"7. "Early Roman Kings"8. "Tin Angel"9. "Tempest"10. "Roll On John"News reports say that one song is about the Titanic and another one on his old friend and taxi companion, John Lennon. It wasn't that long ago that Dylan was spotted on a regular tourist's tour of John Lennon's home. He's popped up at other homes of old friends, including Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen. His visit to Springsteen's childhood home though might be worth a song all by itself.