Treasure Island

Vachel Lindsay

(November 10, 1879 – December 5, 1931 / Springfield, Illinois)

John Bunny, Motion Picture Comedian


In which he is remembered in similitude, by reference to Yorick,
the king’s jester, who died when Hamlet and Ophelia were children.


Yorick is dead. Boy Hamlet walks forlorn
Beneath the battlements of Elsinore.
Where are those oddities and capers now
That used to “set the table on a roar”?

And do his bauble-bells beyond the clouds
Ring out, and shake with mirth the planets bright?
No doubt he brings the blessed dead good cheer,
But silence broods on Elsinore tonight.

That little elf, Ophelia, eight years old,
Upon her battered doll’s staunch bosom weeps.
(”O best of men, that wove glad fairy-tales.”)
With tear-burned face, at last the darling sleeps.

Hamlet himself could not give cheer or help,
Though firm and brave, with his boy-face controlled.
For every game they started out to play
Yorick invented, in the days of old.

The times are out of joint! O cursed spite!
The noble jester Yorick comes no more.
And Hamlet hides his tears in boyish pride
By some lone turret-stair of Elsinore.

Submitted: Saturday, April 10, 2010

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