June and Gene

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William Shakespeare

Shakespeare wrote a series of sonnets, and the last two are about hot springs! He crowns his whole series of Sonnets - 154 glorious little love poems - with a couple on hot springs. What can this mean? Does Shakespeare love hot springs as much as we do? And notice that in Shakespeare - but not in guide books today - you will learn where hot springs come from. See for yourself:

Cupid lay by his brand, and fell asleep:
A maid of Dian's this advantage found,
And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep
In a cold valley-fountain of that ground;
Which borrow'd from this holy fire of love
A dateless lively heat, still to endure,
And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove
Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.
But at my mistress' eye Love's brand new-fir'd,
The boy for trial needs would touch my breast;
I, sick withal, the help of bath desir'd,
And thither hied, a sad distemper'd guest.
But found no cure: the bath for my help lies
Where Cupid got new fire, - my mistress' eyes.

Forget earthquakes, volcanoes, molten magma, ground water, geysers and all that geothermal junk! A hot spring is created when Cupid falls asleep and neglects his torch of love... - when a lovely nymph happens by, picks up that burning torch and quenches it in the nearby cold fountain spurting up from underground. That's how a hot spring is born!

The little love-god, lying once asleep
Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,
Whilst many nymphs that vowed chaste life to keep
Came tripping by; but in her maiden hand
The fairest votary took up that fire
Which many legions of true hearts had warm'd:
And so the general of hot desire
Was sleeping by a virgin hand disarm'd.
This brand she quenched in a cool well by,
Which from Love's fire took heat perpetual,
Growing a bath and healthful remedy
For men diseas'd; but I, my mistress' thrall,
Came there for cure, and this by that I prove,
Love's fire heats water, water cools not love.

June wrote ten folk songs based on Shakespeare plays - from HAMLET to A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, from KING LEAR to THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. We'll feature all ten songs on the site. Let's begin (since March is coming soon) with JULIUS CAESAR.

(drawing below by Rockwell Kent,
great friend of Camp Wo-Chi-Ca)


Click on photo above to see June's song.

One more item here: On the Great Peace March (see a previous page), I, Gene, met a woman from Seattle named Rhoda Evans. We two walked across the country reading all thirty-seven plays of Shakespeare out loud to each other. We produced four of them too! More on this later...