Monday, July 25, 2011

For Done Are Shakespeare's Days

Those hands, which you so clapt, go now, and wring
You Britaines brave; for done are Shakespeares dayes :
His dayes are done, that made the dainty Playes,
Which made the Globe of heav'n and earth to ring.
Dry'de is that veine, dry'd is the Thespian Spring,
Turn'd all to teares, and Phoebus clouds his rayes :
That corp's, that coffin now besticke those bayes,
Which crown'd him Poet first, then Poets King.
If Tragedies might any Prologue have,
All those he made, would scarse make a one to this :
Where Fame, now that he gone is to the grave
(Deaths publique tyring-house) the Nuncius is,
For though his line of life went soone about,
The life yet of his lines shall never out.

H U G H H O L L A N D.

(source link)

Somebody tell me about this. I'm interested lately in the dedications of the First Folio. Other than Ben Jonson's portion, I really had no idea there were so many.  This is actually really good stuff here that I've picked, and I'm quite surprised that I don't hear more about it.  "which crowned him poet first, then poets' king?" That's good stuff!


shakespearesbeagle said...

I agree that the material at the beginning of the First Folio is neglected, apart from a few lines from Jonson's poems. Perhaps it's because the writers aren't famous? I particularly like the prose piece "To the great variety of readers" by Heminges and Condell in which you really get the sense of how well they knew and how much they admired Shakespeare.
All the prefotory material is reprinted in Jonathan Bate's edition of the Complete Works but not in all. Also neglected is John Milton's first printed work which is a poem on Shakespeare that was published in the 1632 second edition of the Folio.
"Dear Son of memory, great heir of Fame"

Giulia said...

I have a version of the Complete Works that has around 6 pages of dedications from the First Folio. I didn't know there were so many neither.
I'm not home now, but when I get there I give you the names of the autors.