Alfred Noyes


Shakespeare's Kingdom

When Shakespeare came to London
He met no shouting throngs;
He carried in his knapsack
A scroll of quiet songs.

No proud heraldic trumpet
Acclaimed him on his way;
Their court and camp have perished;
The songs live on for ay.

Nobody saw or heard them,
But, all around him there,
Spirits of light and music
Went treading the April air.

He passed like any pedlar,
Yet he had wealth untold.
The galleons of th' armada
Could not contain his gold.

The Old Meeting House

Its quiet graves were made for peace till Gabriel blows his horn.
Those wise old elms could hear no cry
Of all that distant agony —
Only the red-winged blackbird, and the rustle of thick ripe corn.

The blue jay, perched upon that bronze, with bright unweeting eye
Could never read the names that signed
The noblest charter of mankind;
But all of them were names we knew beneath our English skies.