Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE PORTRAIT OF SHAKESPEARE, by BEN JONSON



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ON THE PORTRAIT OF SHAKESPEARE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: This figure, that thou here seest put
Last Line: Not at his picture, but his book.
Variant Title(s): To The Reader
Subject(s): Books; Dramatists; Droeshout, Martin; Engraving & Engravers; Plays & Playwrights ; Poetry & Poets; Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); Writing & Writers; Reading; Dramatists


THIS figure, that thou here seest put,
It was for gentle Shakespeare cut;
Wherein the Graver had a strife
With Nature to outdo the life:
O, could he but have drawn his wit
As well in brass, as he hath hit
His face; the Print would then surpass
All that was ever writ in brass.
But since he cannot, Reader, look
Not at his picture, but his book.




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