Archive for January 17th, 2018

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Description of Shakespeare’s Tomb from “Avon, A Poem, in Three Parts” by John Huckell

But where’s the grateful pomp, th’ ambitious strife
Of art, in glorious rivalry with life?
To bear him high, no trophi’d columns rise,
No cloud-capt pyramid ascends the skies.
Proclaims this want the jealousies of art?
Or say, with him did ev’ry muse depart?
Here, Avon, o’er her Parian urn reclin’d,
Should see her waves in fluid marble wind;
While (in the stream the attic laurel thrown)
She gives the buskin’d muse a nobler crown.
Along the rising bank should prostrate lie
Pale Envy’s train, and turn the dazzled eye,
To see the bard’s triumphant car appear,
Where Nature sits the skilful charioteer.
In view might rise, on Corinth’s flow’ry pride,
Fame’s ample dome, with gates expanded wide;
While the white steeds extend the shining rein,
And spring emergent from the radiant plain:
Chain’d to the shining wheels, on either hand,
The captive Passions wait his high command.
Hope here should smile, Despair should languish here,
Light Joy should laugh, and Sorrow drop the tear;
Revenge should seem, with secret wish, to feel
The purple point, and whet the destin’d steel;
While jaundic’d Jealousy, all wildly dress’d,
Hugs the dire caustic to her shudd’ring breast;
Absorb’d in woe, should Melancholy sigh,
And boundless Madness ev’ry pow’r defy;
Love’s flowing eyes in languid softness roll,
And Hate’s dark frowns betray the tortur’d soul;
With hair erect pale Terror shake his chain,
And lovely Pity sooth her borrow’d pain.
By daedal Fancy charg’d with high relief,
The car should swell with many a stori’d chief.

From: Huckell, John, Avon, A Poem, in Three Parts, 1811, J. Ward: London, pp. 12-13.

Date: 1758

By: John Huckell (1729-1771)