Ariel, by Thomas Gray

A spirit bound to one, her lord
With kindness rescued her from sword
Of Strife and Misery
At her behest to loose the bonds
That held her in his murky ponds
His temper did change key

Lest she forget his noble work
The day which he did swiftly jerk
Her wholly from dismay
She would obey him for a time
And one day he would wax sublime
And cut her bonds away

In meantime she his bidding do
With loyalty put things askew
And speak for Trinculo
But they shall not be cut in twain
The three men friends once more again
Caliban, Stephano

Another form doth she command
To men whose ill name known by lands
And scare them out of minds
Prospero being lord of this
Where they do find themselves amiss
He knows of their dark kinds

The whim and fancies of Prosper
A twink a beat a soft whisper
The spirit carries out
With naught but rare and subtle pleas
That she might finally be free
And give a wondrous shout

The final trick thus well performed
Prospero pleased, his heart hast warmed
To quite its full extent
To lovely Ariel who waits
He lets her go past house and gates
Eternal merrimen

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About Alex Mueller

Alex Mueller can be found running and cycling the streets and suburbs of Boston, taking long sojourns in rare book archives whenever he can. He teaches English at UMass Boston, serves as Book Review Editor for Arthuriana, and writes about digital pedagogy, open access publishing, and medieval literature.

1 thought on “Ariel, by Thomas Gray

  1. This poem's a good example of Ariel's relationship to Prospero. Freedom is important and Ariel strives to please Prospero so that it will be granted to her. All my life my family has struggled and worked hard so that we could have our dreams become reality. So that we could live a more comfortable life. God knows we all have to learn one day that this life ain't fair. One must work hard and keep their faith in the Lord. Like Ariel our freedom and dreams are earned through hard work and determination.

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