John Milton

(9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674 / London, England)

An Epitaph on the Admirable Dramatic Poet W. Shakespeare


What needs my Shakespeare for his honored bones
The labor of an age in piled stones?
Or that his hallowed reliques 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 thy self a livelong monument.
For whilst, to th' shame of slow-endeavoring 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 sepulchred in such pomp dost lie
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Michael Gale (2/23/2009 1:38:00 PM)

    Quite, thy erst'while poet...
    Tho'he ne're kno'it.

    Lo' he went well blind, in'visioned, speak...
    Lest ye words, unheaded leak?

    In trouble'd with thy steadied law...
    In health, hath plum'ted to a most slow paced, crawl.

    Great poem, God bless us all-MJG. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

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