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………………Shakespeare

A vision as of crowded city streets,
With human life in endless overflow;
Thunder of thoroughfares; trumpets that blow
To battle; clamor, in obscure retreats,
Of sailors landed from their anchored fleets;
Tolling of bells in turrets, and below
Voices of children, and bright flowers that throw
O’er garden-walls their intermingled sweets!
This vision comes to me when I unfold
The volume of the Poet paramount,
Whom all the Muses loved, not one alone; –
Into his hands they put the lyre of gold,
And, crowned with sacred laurel at their fount,
Placed him as Musagetes on their throne.

 

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What is a sonnet?  ‘T is the pearly shell
   That murmurs of the far-off murmuring sea;
   A precious jewel carved most curiously;
   It is a little picture painted well.
What is a sonnet?  ‘T is the tear that fell
   From a great poet’s hidden ecstasy;
   A two-edged sword, a star, a song – ah me!
   Sometimes a heavy-tolling funeral bell.
This was the flame that shook with Dante’s breath;
   The solemn organ whereon Milton played,
   And the clear glass where Shakespeare’s shadow falls:
A sea this is – beware who ventureth!
   For like a fjord the narrow floor is laid
   Deep as mid-ocean to the sheer mountain walls.

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