By Fred Green,2014-08-03 13:58
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Recitation Recitation Recitation Recitation

    Passage 1 Romeo and Juliet (4’)

    SCENE II. Capulet's orchard.

    JULIET appears above at a window

     But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?

     It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

     Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,

     Who is already sick and pale with grief,

     That thou her maid art far more fair than she:

     Be not her maid, since she is envious;

     Her vestal livery is but sick and green

     And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.

     It is my lady, O, it is my love!

     O, that she knew she were!

     She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?

     Her eye discourses; I will answer it.

     I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks:

     Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,

     Having some business, do entreat her eyes

     To twinkle in their spheres till they return.

     What if her eyes were there, they in her head?

     The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,

     As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven

     Would through the airy region stream so bright

     That birds would sing and think it were not night.

     See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!

     O, that I were a glove upon that hand,

     That I might touch that cheek!


     Ay me!


     She speaks:

     O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art

     As glorious to this night, being o'er my head

     As is a winged messenger of heaven

     Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes

     Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him

     When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds

     And sails upon the bosom of the air. JULIET

     O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?

     Deny thy father and refuse thy name;

     Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,

     And I'll no longer be a Capulet.

    Passage 2 To be or not to be (4’)

    To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them

    To die- to sleep-

    No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd

    To die- to sleep.

    To sleep- perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause; There's the respect That makes calamity of so long life;

    For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,

     Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay, The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of th' unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin?

    Who would these fardels bear,

    To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death- The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn No traveler returns- puzzles the will, And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry And lose the name of action.

    Passage 3 Gettysburg Address (3’)

    Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

    It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth..

     Passage 4 Blood, toil, tears and sweat (3)

     I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: 'I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.' We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering.

    You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.

    You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

    Let that be realized; no survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal.

    But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, 'come then, let us go forward together with our united strength.'

    Passage 5 Sonnet 18 (2’)

    Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

    Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

    Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

    And summer's lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

    And often is his gold complexion dimm'd,

    And every fair from fair sometime declines,

    By chance, or nature's changing course untrimm'd:

    But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

    Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,

    Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade


    When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,

    So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

    So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

    Passage 6 When you are old (2’)

    when you are old and gray and full of sleep And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

    How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true; But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

    And bending down beside the glowing bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead And his face amid a crowd of stars

    Passage 7 Spring (2’)

    Spring, the sweet spring, is the year's pleasant king; Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring, Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing, Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

    The palm and may make country houses gay, Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day, And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay, Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

    The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet, Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit, In every street these tunes our ears do greet, Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo! Spring, the sweet


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