Double, double, toil and trouble

“Three times the brinded cat has mewed,” said the first witch. “Thrice plus one the hedgehog whined,” said the second. “Harpier cries: it’s time, it’s time!” the third said. The first witch moved closer to the boiling cauldron.

“Round about the cauldron go: In the poisoned entrails throw.

Toad that under cold stone Days and nights, thirty-one Vicious venom its sleeping got, Boil it first in this charmed pot!”

Then in unison the witches chanted into the cauldron: “Double, double, toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”

The second witch came to the cauldron for her contribution to the spell. “Fillet of a marsh snake, In the cauldron boil and bake: Eye of newt and toes of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder’s fork and blindworm’s sting, Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”

The witches then chanted together. “Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble!”

Then the third of the Weird Sisters came forward to the cauldron to say her piece of the spell. “Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf, Witch’s mummy, guts and gullet Of the fed salt-sea shark, Root of hemlock, dug in the dark,

Liver of blaspheming Jew, Gall of goat and slips of yew Felled in the moon’s eclipse, Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips, Finger of birth-strangled babe Ditch-delivered by a slag:

Last, a tiger’s entrails. Our pot will create what entails.”

Again they said in unison: “Double, double toil and trouble, Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”

The second witch then finalised the spell: “Cool it with baboon’s blood, Then the charm is firm and good.”

The completion of the spell summoned Hecate “Oh, well done! I commend your pains And everyone shall share in the gains.

And now about the cauldron sing, Like elves and fairies in a ring, Enchanting all that you put in.”

Hecate Exits. – By William Shakespeare, MacBeth

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