Dante Gabriel Rossetti

(12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882 / London / England)

On Certain Elizabethan Revivals - Poem by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

O RUFF-EMBASTIONED vast Elizabeth,
Bush to these bushel-bellied casks of wine,
Home-growth, 'tis true, but rank as turpentine—
What would we with such skittle-plays at death?
Say, must we watch these brawlers' brandished lathe,
Or to their reeking wit our ears incline,
Because all Castaly flowed crystalline
In gentle Shakspeare's modulated breath?
What! must our drama with the rat-pit vie,
Nor the scene close while one is left to kill?
Shall this be poetry? And thou—thou man
Of blood, thou cannibalic Caliban,
What shall be said of thee? A poet?—Fie!
“An honourable murderer, if you will.”


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010



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