The Bijou

The Bijou;

or Annual of Literature and the Arts

compiled by William Fraser

London: William Pickering,


[Page 195] page image and link
The Infant Shakespeare
By Unknown
BY the living waterspring, 1
By the grass- green fairy ring, 2
Pillowed on the rathe primrose, 3
Lies a boy in rich repose. 4
Yet, though honey- dews of sleep 5
All his crimson beauty steep — 6
Though like languid lily- bands, 7
Fall on earth his infant hands; 8
And the veiling eyelids win 9
From us all the light within; 10
And, but for a passing glow, 11
Sculptured stone might seem his brow. 12
Yet that marble brow beneath, 13
Dreams are born too strong for death; 14
Thoughts, as with the stroke of lightning, 15
Soul- pervading, smiting, brightning. 16
Mighty visions are awake, 17
That shall yet the nations shake; 18

[Page 196] page image and link
In that sleeping form enshrined, 19
Powers, and mysteries of mind; 20
That shall utter more than spell 21
Of a more than Oracle! 22

Now, on his enchanted sleep, 23
See the rich creations sweep; 24
Mark the lifting of his hand, 25
It has grasped a fancied wand; 26
Spirits, to its waving bowed, 27
Spring from earth, and fire and cloud. 28

Now he smiles! a kingly pomp 29
Comes with shout and silver tromp; 30
Or along the burnished waters 31
Float some fairy island's daughters 32
Or, as day's empurpled smile, 33
Fades on the cathedral pile; 34
Incense- winged the evening prayer, 35
Rises on the dewy air. 36

See, the sudden writhing brow! 37
See, the stealing tear below! 38
From his lip has gone the word, 39
Darkness from its depths is stirred; 40
And on fiery blasts are born, 41
Howling terrors, shapes forlorn. 42

[Page 197] page image and link
But again the laughing lip 43
Quivers with the matchless quip; 44
Wit, with diamond point and play, 45
Bright for ever and for aye: 46
Boy, to witch the world — arise! 47
On that rose bank — SHAKSPEARE lies! 48
from The Bijou, 1828, pp. 195-197
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