On Shakespeare

by William Basse

Renowned Spenser, lie a thought more nigh
To learned Chaucer, and rare Beaumond lie
A little nearer Spenser, to make room
For Shakespeare in your threefold, fourfold Tomb.
To lodge all four in one bed make a shift
Until Doomsday, for hardly will a fifth
Betwixt this day and that by Fate be slain,
For whom your Curtains may be drawn again.
If your precedency in death doth bar
A fourth place in your sacred sepulchre,
Under this carved marble of thine own,
Sleep, rare Tragedian, Shakespeare sleep alone;
Thy unmolested peace, unshared Cave,
Possess as Lord, not Tenant, of the Grave,
That unto us and others it may be
Honour hereafter to be laid by thee.

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