The Front Court of Christ's College in the University of Cambridge

This is the puritan college within the University of Cambridge where Milton studied and wrote his earliest poems. Plays (such as the Parnassus sequence) were regularly staged as part of humanistic education at the university. The youthful Milton was an enthusiastic devotee of Shakespeare and he wrote a poem in his praise in 1630 when he was 22 years old:

What needs my Shakespeare for his honored bones
To labor of an age in piled stones,
Or that his hallowed relics should be hid
Under a star-ypointing pyramid?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,
What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast built thyself a livelong monument.
For, whilst, to the shame of slow-endeavouring art,
Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took,
Then thou our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving,
And so sepĂșlchred in such pomp dost lie
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.


Velma Bourgeois Richmond

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