Shakespeare's Festival

Katharine Lee Bates

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WHILE we keep our Poet's Tercentennial,
Every school and city with its emulous
Antic or solemnity, what tremulous
Laughter on the air! O Puck perennial!
Leave us clumsy mortals to our drolleries,
Strenuous gambols of Shakespearean gratitude,
And be off to find him in Beatitude,
Win his genial glance with elf cajoleries,
And then tell him of our sage frivolity
Till his golden laughter wake eternity,
And about him flock his old fraternity,
All his scapegrace fellows of the quality,
Greene not jealous, Heminge no more stammering,
Marlowe one white flame of passion glorious,
Rare Ben modest, vagabonds victorious,
All about the Master crowding, clamoring,
Talking all at once in odes and triolets,
Sonnets like the stars for prodigality,
While Will Shakespeare loafs with Immortality
On a stolen bank of Arden violets.

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