Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves,
And ye that on the sands with printless foot
Do chase the ebbing Neptune and do fly him
When he comes back.
– William Shakespeare
The Tempest, Act 5, Scene 1. Having decided to set free Alonso and his men, Prospero draws a large circle on the ground with his staff and invokes the different spirits who have aided him. In a speech listing out his accomplishments in the magic arts, he first addresses the elves of the natural environment – the hills, streams, lands and forests.