To Shakespeare (I) by Frances Anne Kemble

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If from the height of that celestial sphere
Where now thou dwell’st, spirit powerful and sweet!
Thou yet canst love the race that sojourn here,
How must thou joy, with pleasure not unmeet
For thy exalted state, to know how dear
Thy memory is held throughout the earth,
Beyond the favoured land that gave thee birth.
E’en in thy seat in Heaven, thou may’st receive
Thanks, praise, and love, and wonder ever new,
From human hearts, who in thy verse perceive
All that humanity calls good and true,
Nor dost thou for each mortal blemish grieve,
They from thy glorious works have fall’n away,
As from thy soul its outward form of clay.

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