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Shakespeare And Cervantes



Obit 23rd April 1616

Is it not strange that on this common date,
Two titans of their age, aye of all Time,
Together should renounce this mortal state,
And rise like gods, unsullied and sublime?
Should mutually render up the ghost,
And hand n hand join Jove's celestial host?

What wondrous welcome from the scribes on high!
Homer and Virgil would be waiting there;
Plato and Aristotle standing nigh;
Petrarch and Dante greet the peerless pair:
And as in harmony they make their bow,
Horace might quip: "Great timing, you'll allow."

Imagine this transcendant team arrive
At some hilarious banquet of the gods!
Their nations battled when they were alive,
And they were bitter foes - but what's the odd?
Actor and soldier, happy hand in hand,
By death close-linked, like loving brothers stand.

But how diverse! Our Will had gold and gear,
Chattels and land, the starshine of success;
The bleak Castilian fought with casque and spear,
Passing his life in prisons - more or less.
The Bard of Avon was accounted rich;
Cervantes often bedded in a ditch.

Yet when I slough this flesh, if I could meet
By sweet, fantastic fate one of these two,
In languorous Elysian retreat,
Which would I choose? Fair reader, which would you?
Well, though our William more divinely wrote,
By gad! the lousy Spaniard has my vote.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robert William Service

Robert William Service was a poet and writer sometimes referred to as the Bard of the Yukon He is best-known for his writings on the Canadian North including the poems The Shooting of Dan McGrew The Law of the Yukon and The Cremation of Sam McGee His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector not the later-arriving bank clerk he actually was Robert William Service was born 16 January 1874 in Preston England but also lived in Scotland before emigrating to Canada in 1894 Service went to the Yukon Territory in 1904 as a bank clerk and became famous for his poems about this region which are mostly in his first two books of poetry He wrote quite a bit of prose as well and worked as a reporter for some time but those writings are not nearly as well known as his poems He travelled around the world quite a bit and narrowly escaped from France at the beginning of the Second World War during which time he lived in Hollywood California He died 11 September 1958 in France Incidentally he played himself in a movie called The Spoilers starring John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich more…

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