If you were watching the by turns corny, head-scratching, and acid-trippy opening ceremony of the London Olympics last night, you may have seen Irish actor Kenneth Branagh declaiming lines from Shakespeare (while in a Victorian morning coat, which was sort of odd but it was that kind of night). The lines were from The Tempest and presumably referred to the UK, not the mysterious shipwrecked island of the play. Personally, I would have gone with the “Blessed Plot” soliloquy from Richard II, but that was just about England and therefore not really fair to the other countries of the UK. Anyway, in honor of the Olympics, and the UK:
The Tempest, Act 3, Scene 2
Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked,
I cried to dream again.