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John Milton : On Shakespeare

What needs my Shakespeare for his honored bones
To labor of an age in piled stones,
Or that his hallowed relics should be hid
Under a star-ypointing1 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 numbers2 flow, and that each heart
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued3 book
Those Delphic4 lines with deep impression took,
Then thou our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving,
And so sepúlchred in such pomp dost lie
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die. 

John Milton (1608-1674)	1630

 
FOOTNOTES
1 the “y” is an archaic way of forming the past particilple of a verb; 2 i.e. your poems; 3 invaluable; 4 of Delphi, where Apollo had an oracle and, by association, pertaining to poetry
 

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