In Remembrance of Master Shakespeare

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
In Remembrance of Master Shakespeare  (c. 1618) 
by William Davenant

Davenant, who was possibly Shakespeare's godson, knew him as a child, since the playwright stayed in his parent's house in Oxford when travelling between London and Stratford. Davenant says he wrote this ode at the age of 12, in 1618, two years after Shakespeare died.[1] It was published in 1638 in Madagascar with other poems.

Beware, delighted poets, when you sing,
To welcome nature in the early spring,
Your numerous feet not tread
The banks of Avon, for each flower
(As it ne'er knew a sun or shower)
Hangs there the pensive head.

Each Tree, whose thick, and spreading growth hath made,
Rather a Night beneath the Boughs, than Shade,
(Unwilling now to grow)
Looks like the Plume a Captive wears,
Whose rifled Falls are steeped i'th tears
Which from his last rage flow.

The piteous River wept itself away
Long since (Alas!) to such a swift decay;
That reach the Map; and look
If you a River there can spy;
And for a River your mock'd Eye,
Will find a shallow Brook.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.



  1. Alan Palmer, Veronica Palmer, Who's Who in Shakespeare's England, Palgrave Macmillan, 1 May 1999, p.61.