When Shakespeare came to London
He met no shouting throngs;
He carried in his knapsack
A scroll of quiet songs.
No proud heraldic trumpet
Acclaimed him on his way;
Their court and camp have perished;
The songs live on for ay.
Nobody saw or heard them,
But, all around him there,
Spirits of light and music
Went treading the April air.
He passed like any pedlar,
Yet he had wealth untold.
The galleons of th' armada
Could not contain his gold.
The kings rode on to darkness.
In England's conquering hour,
Unseen arrived her splendour;
Unknown, her conquering power.
Alfred Noyes's Other Poems
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