Back to Index

On Shakespeare

by John Milton, 1630

What needs my Shakespeare, for his honoured bones,
The labour of an age in pil├Ęd stones?
Or that his hollowed relics should be hid
Under a stary-pointing 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 livelong monument.
For whilst, to the 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 sepulchred, in such pomp dost lie,
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.

Published in The Complete Poems of John Milton
Tags:

Any corrections or public domain poems I should have here? Email me at poems (at) this domain.