I am now reading one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies: Hamlet. This scene is taken from the beginning of Act one, where some officers were on night watch together with Horatio (Hamlet’s friend). It was near twilight, when they saw the ghost of the late King appeared. However, before they brought it into conversation, the cock crowed, and the ghost disappeared. Apparently ghosts or spirits would immediately disappeared when cocks begin to crow. Shakespeare connected this to (a myth?) that two thousand years ago, when Christ was born, the cocks crowed all night long, and no spirit dared to appear. I’m just amazed at this scene, which feels so tranquil and so divine…. I think this scene would appear in my mind every time I sing Silent Night from now on! Oh, but if the cock crowed all night long, it was not that silent then? :)
“Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare to stir abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planet strikes,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm;
So hallow’d and so gracious is the time.”
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