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By William Shakespeare

Not marble nor the gilded monuments

Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,

But you shall shine more bright in these contents

Than unswept stone besmeared with sluttish time.

When wasteful war shall statues overturn,

And broils root out the work of masonry,

Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn

The living record of your memory.

’Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity

Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room

Even in the eyes of all posterity

That wear this world out to the ending doom.

    So, till the Judgement that yourself arise,

    You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.


Source: The Norton Anthology of Poetry Third Edition (W. W. Norton and Company Inc., 1983)

Poet Bio

Actor, dramatist, and poet, William Shakespeare is the most highly regarded writer in the English language. Born in Stratford-Upon-Avon in England, Shakespeare wrote 38 plays, including Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet. His epic narrative poems and 154 sonnets include some of the world’s most quoted lines.

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