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TO THE MEMORY OF MY BELOVED,
MR WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE:
WHAT HE HATH LEFT US.
To draw no envy (Shakespeare) on thy name,
As neither Man, nor Muse, can praise too much.
Which, when it sounds at best, but echoes right;
And think to ruin, where it seemed to raise.
Should praise a Matron. What could hurt her more? But thou art proof against them, and indeed
Above th' ill fortune of them, or the need.
I, therefore will begin. Soul of the Age!
The applause! delight! the wonder of our Stage! My Shakespeare, rise; I will not lodge thee by Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie.
A little further, to make thee a room:
Thou art a Monument, without a tomb,
For, if I thought my judgment were of years
Or sporting Kid, or Marlowe's mighty line.
Paccuvius, Accius, him of Cordova dead,
To life again, to hear thy Buskin tread,
Of all, that insolent Greece, or haughty Rome
Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to show,
To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe. He was not of an age but for all time!
And all the muses still were in their prime, When like Apollo he came forth to warm Our ears, or like a mercury to charm! Nature herself was proud of his designs,
And joyed to wear the dressing of his lines! Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit, As, since, she will vouchsafe no other Wit. The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes,
Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please;
As they were not of Nature's family.
For though the Poet's matter, Nature be,
Who casts to write a living line, must sweat,
(And himself with it) that he thinks to frame, Or for the laurel, he may gain a scorn,
For a good Poet's made, as well as born.
And such wert thou. Look how the father's face
Of Shakespeare's mind, and manners brightly shines
In each of which, he seems to shake a Lance,
And make those flights upon the banks of Thames
But stay, I see thee in the Hemisphere
Advanced, and made a Constellation there! Shine forth, thou Star of Poets, and with rage, Or influence, chide, or cheer the drooping Stage; Which, since thy flight from hence had mourned like night, And despairus day, but for thy Volumes' light.
UPON THE LINES AND LIFE OF THE FAMOUS
MASTER WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE,
THOSE hands, which you so clapped, go now, and wring
Turned all to tears, and Phoebus clouds his rays:
All those he made, would scarce make one to this;
The life yet
TO THE MEMORIE
OF THE DECEASED AUTHOR MASTER
SHAKESPEARE, at length thy pious fellows give
The world thy Works: thy Works, by which, out-live
Shall loath what's new, think all is prodigy
Or till I hear a Scene more nobly take,
Than when thy half-Sword parlying Romans spake.
TO THE MEMORY OF M. W. SHAKESPEARE.
WE wondered (Shakespeare) that thou wents't so soon
Can die, and live, to act a second part.
That's but an Exit of Mortality,
This, a Re-entrance to a Plaudite.