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  • Title: Prefatory Materials (Folio 1, 1663)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: Ben Jonson
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Prefatory Materials (Folio 1, 1663)

    of the deceased Authour Maister

    SHake-speare, at length thy pious fellowes giue
    The world thy Workes: thy Workes, by which, out-liue
    Thy Tombe, thy name must: when that stone is rent,
    And Time dissolues thy Stratford Moniment,
    270Here we aliue shall view thee still. This Booke,
    When Brasse and Marble fade, shall make thee looke
    Fresh to all Ages: when Posteritie
    Shall loath what's new, thinke all is prodegie
    That is not Shake-speares; eu'ry Line, each Verse
    275Here shall reuiue, redeeme thee from thy Herse.
    Nor Fire, nor cankring Age, as Naso said,
    Of his, thy wit-fraught Booke shall once inuade.
    Nor shall I e're beleeue, or thinke thee dead
    (Though mist) vntill our bankrout Stage be sped
    280(Impossible) with some new straine t' out-do
    Passions of Iuliet, and her Romeo;
    Or till I heare a Scene more nobly take,
    Then when thy half=Sword parlying Romans spake.
    Till these, till any of thy Volumes rest
    285Shall with more fire, more feeling be exprest,
    Be sure, our Shake=speare, thou canst neuer dye,
    But crown'd with Lawrell, liue eternally.

    L. Digges.

    To the memorie of M. W. Shake-speare.

    290VVEE wondred (Shake-speare) that thou went'st so soone
    From the Worlds=Stage, to the Graues-Tyring-roome.
    Wee thought thee dead, but this thy printed worth,
    Tels thy Spectators, that thou went'st but forth
    To enter with applause. An Actors Art,
    295Can dye, and liue, to acte a second part.
    That's but an Exit of Mortalitie;
    This, a Re-entrance to a Plaudite.