James McIntyre

(25 May 1828 – 31 March 1906 / Forres, Scotland)

Tercentenary Ode On Shakespeare - Poem by James McIntyre

We had the honour of delivering in 1864 the principal address at the
tercentennial anniversary of Shakspeare in the Town Hall,
Ingersoll, before a large audience, and we read the following ode
on the occasion:

' Shakespeare requires no marble monument;
He lives forever in our wonder and astonishment.

Three centuries have passed away
Since that most famous April day
When the sweet, gentle Will was born;
Whose name the age will 'ere adorn.

That great Elizabethian age
Does not leave on history's page
A name so bright, he stands like Saul
A head and shoulders over all.

Delineator of mankind,
Who shows the workings of the mind,
And in review in nature's glass
Portrays the thoughts of every class.

That man is dull who will not laugh
At the drolleries of Falstaff,
And few that could not shed a tear
At sorrows of poor old King Lear.

Or lament o'er King Duncan's death,
Stabbed by the dagger of McBeth,
Or gentle Desdimona pure,
Slain by the misled jealous Moore.

Or great Cesar, mighty Roman,
Who o'ercame his country's foemen.
His high deeds are all in vain,
For by his countrymen, he's slain.

The greatest of heroic tales
Is that of Harry, Prince of Wales,
Who in combat fought so fiercely
With the brave and gallant Percy.

Imagination's grandest theme,
The tempest or midsummer dream,
And Hamlet's philosophie [sic] blaze
Of shattered reason's flickering rays.

And now on every land on earth
They commemorate Shakespeare's birth.
And there is met on Avon's banks
Men of all nations and all ranks.
And here upon Canadian Thames
The gentle maids and comely dames
Do meet, and each does bring her scroll
Of laurel leaves from Ingersoll.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 4, 2012

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