Called on by the court from their quiet lives,
So as to aid a friend long forgotten.
Leaving behind neither children nor wives,
They ne'er suspected something was rotten.
'Twas Madness or love, or perhaps the two,
What wrote these men into a fiendish plot.
But having no past and not much to do,
Hopes of avoiding tragedy were shot.
'Twas a sea of troubles swallowed them whole,
Casting the two adrift and all alone.
Having good intentions yet being dull,
They soon arrived at that country unknown.
Sad as it may be, there ne'er was a chance,
For poor old Guildenstern and Rosencrantz.
If you're familiar with Hamlet, you'll remember the minor characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. But this sonnet also relates to the Tom Stoppard play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and as such, much of it can be read two ways. For example, in line 12, if you're thinking of Hamlet, the word dull means uninteresting, if you're thinking of R & G Are Dead, it means foolish.
As a reward for reading my poetry, here's Alan Rickman reading "My Mistress' Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun."