Poem Activity

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Ye Spotted Snakes

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Poem Activity

Have fun with the poem by trying this...

This is a lullaby, sung by fairies in Shakespeare’s 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream', where they warn away creatures like snakes and spiders from their fairy queen as she falls asleep in the woods. What things would you warn away from someone who you were singing to sleep?

Look closely at verses 1 and 3. Can you hear the four beats in each line? Try tapping or clapping them out as you say the verses aloud. Can you hear the rhymes at the ends of the lines?

Have a go at writing your own verse in this pattern of beats and rhymes. Add it to Shakespeare’s poem with another 'Philome, with melody' chorus. Read your version of the poem aloud to someone else and see if they can spot your verse!

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Ye spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts and blindworms, do no wrong,
Come not near our fairy Queen.

Philomele, with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby:
Never harm
Nor spell nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So, good night, with lullaby.

Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence!
Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm nor snail, do no offence.

Philomele, with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby:
Never harm
Nor spell nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So, good night, with lullaby.

Ye Spotted Snakes

by William Shakespeare