Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
April 23
On the Portrait of Shakespeare
By Ben Jonson (1572–1637)
 
          Born at Stratford-on-Avon, April 23, 1564. Died there April 23, 1616.

THE FIGURE that thou here seest put,
It was for gentle SHAKESPEARE cut,
Wherein the graver had a strife
With nature, to out-do the life:
O could he have but drawn his wit        5
As well in brass, as he has hit
His face; the print would then surpass
All that was ever writ in brass:
But since he cannot, reader, look
Not on his picture, but his book.        10
 
 
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