Hark, Our Lady Weeps Aflame! by Emma Belyk

Emma Belyk is a 2019 finalist for the Shakespeare Selfie student writing challenge in the Grade 7 to 9 category.

2019 finalist: Grade 7 to 9 category

Emma Belyk is a 14-year-old student from Osler, Sask. (Submitted by Emma Belyk)

Emma Belyk is a finalist of the 2019 Shakespeare Selfie Student Writing Challenge. This annual writing competition challenges students to write a soliloquy or monologue in the voice of a Shakespearean character based on a prominent news, pop culture or current affairs event from the last year (April 2018 to April 2019).

Read the work of the 2019 Shakespeare Selfie finalists.

Belyk, who attends Osler School in Osler, Sask., wrote about the Notre-Dame cathedral fire from the perspective of All's Well That Ends Well's Helena.

O knaves embolden'd! Lend your ears to me,
Of this foul gloom of mine be drawn towards, 
Let it be known, of its position poised
This heart of mine, it looms darkly over, 
And stirs a grievous sadness now awake.

Ethereal spires hath come aflame, alight!
How burned by devilish industry; lo,
The bells of brass and bronze sing sweet no more,
For they lay silent, trapped within their tomb,
Made quiet by the blaze, and wounded by the heat.

How overwrought by grief, how sorrowful,
Take flight, o soulless arch-villain so near,
Be not a shroud lain over I, begone!

And yet, o my Bertram, loved by me,
He shirks his duty to grieve as all do. 
Share not with I does he my thoughts of it, 
Instead he goes about his work becalmed! 
Perhaps I ought to be assured he cares, 
And he has taken pains to becalm me.
Yes, that is what he must be doing now,
Adore his sweetly caring heart do I. 

Alack, for now I hear the choir song,
Upon the cobblestones agleam with rain, 
They sing their words of God's forgiving grace, 
As all of Paris dreams and weeps as one, 
Awaiting news of our cathedral old,
And what we all must do to aid our love.