Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
XXXI. Tender Memory
Sonnet: ‘Or I shall live your epitaph to make’
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
OR I shall live your epitaph to make,
Or you survive when I in earth am rotten;
From hence your memory death cannot take,
Although in me each part will be forgotten.
Your name from hence immortal life shall have,        5
Though I, once gone, to all the world must die:
The earth can yield me but a common grave,
When you entombèd in men’s eyes shall lie.
Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
Which eyes not yet created shall o’er-read;        10
And tongues to be your being shall rehearse,
When all the breathers of this world are dead;
  You still shall live,—such virtue hath my pen,—
  Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men.
 
 
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