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John Milton

On Shakespear.

WHAT needs my Shakespear for his honour'd Bones,
The labour of an age in piled Stones,
Or that his hallow'd reliques should be hid
Under a Star-ypointing Pyramid?
Dear son of memory, great heir of Fame,
What need'st thou such weak witnes of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast built thy self a live-long Monument.
For whilst to th'shame of slow-endeavouring art,
Thy easie numbers flow, and that each heart
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalu'd Book,
Those Delphick lines with deep impression took,
Then thou our fancy of it self bereaving,
Dost make us Marble with too much conceaving;
And so Sepulcher'd in such pomp dost lie,
That Kings for such a Tomb would wish to die.




Notes: On Shakespear.  Reprinted 1632 in the second folio Shakespeare:   Title] An epitaph on the admirable dramaticke poet W. Shakespeare   1 needs] neede   6 weak] dull   8 live-long] lasting   10 heart] part   13 it] her

Beeching, Rev. H. C., ed. The Poetical Works of John Milton.
        Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1900. 18.

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