On Shakespeare. 1630

BY JOHN MILTON

On ShakespeareWhat needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones,

The labor of an age in pilèd stones,

Or that his hallowed relics should be hid   

Under a star-ypointing pyramid? 

Dear son of Memory, great heir of fame, 

What need’st thou such weak witness of thy name?

Thou in our wonder and astonishment 

Hast built thyself a live-long monument. 

For whilst to th’ shame of slow-endeavouring art,   

Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart   

Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book 

Those Delphic lines with deep impression took,   

Then thou, our fancy of itself bereaving,   

Dost make us marble with too much conceiving; 

And so sepúlchred in such pomp dost lie,

That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.
.
A reminder that on April 27 we will be reading and discussing poetry and other literature about, or inspired by, Shakespeare, his works and characters. Please bring your own selection of this genre for discussion and, if you wish, post it first on the blog via the CONTACT US page, or email it to me directly. See the SCHEDULE PAGE for selections posted to-date.

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