APRIL 2004

ŽOde to the GlobeŽ
(a tribute to Shakespeare on his birthday, April 23, 2004)
By Ian Reed

How like the phoenix, Truth with golden wings,
Fair messenger of Heaven to upturned eyes
And upturned hearts,
[2] arisen from her ashes,
In fiery flight resumes the lither skies.

As that Arabian bird in resurrection
Every four hundred years, so Shakespeare's Globe,
Consumed in fire four centuries ago,
Truth's deputy, rewears the poet's robe.

O wooden O,
[4] shine in this naughty world,[5]
Hard by false Westminster of warring wont.
Bright angel and ambassador of light
Enlighten us, for politicians won't

Who overgreen the bad
[6] in banal blare
That second-fiddles to the Machiavel
Smiling and smiling, murd'ring whiles he smiles
With heav'nly shows, divinity of hell,

Whose slander stains dear England's reputation,
Making a kingdom once renowned and great
A slavish, secondary instrument
Sexed up and leased to the Goliath state.

How you have fallen, daughter of the Dawn,
Britannia of brief authority,[12]
Who made a shameful conquest of yourself,
Cried havoc
[14] in embedded harlotry,

Manured British soil with British blood,
Worse treachery than Agamemnon's bride,
For, unlike her, you covered up your deed,
Slaughtered a man and called it suicide,

Then hid yourself beneath an ermine robe
To lambast British broadcasters who dare
(In spite of Custom countenancing falsehood),
Bring forth, amid your fetid fumes, fresh air.

But peering through the parliamentary pall
Of privilege and power, the poet's pen
In piercing perception sets to scorn
Your private pandering by public men.

For poets our true priests and prophets are,
Much more than pundits, power-brokers, press,
Pontificators of prolixious prose
Or peddlers clothed in propaganda's dress.

Like Orpheus, who softened stony
[18] hearts,[19]
In gentleness our strong enforcement lies.
We are the openers and intelligencers
Supplanting false intelligence and lies.

Then, for the world's a stage,
[22] O hallowed Globe,
Let this tradition from thy scaffold soar,
Transcend the girdle of thy hallowed walls,
The globe illuminate, our hopes restore.

O Shakespeare's mouthpiece, Shakespeare that of God,
God that of man, partaking of our plight,
Seeing our brains with baser matter
[24] blent,[25]
Bring forth into this darkness divine light

'Till Christ return, the Heavens and earth to wrap,
The world to make anew, His gifts to give,
When we'll awake, arisen from the dead,
Our minds refashioned and our souls to live.

April 23, 2004


[1]      'Romeo and Juliet', II.i.73-76

[2]      Ephesians 1:18

[3]      '1 Henry VI', IV.vii.21

[4]      'Henry V', 0.13

[5]      'Merchant of Venice', V.i.100

[6]      Sonnet 112.4

[7]      '3 Henry VI', III.ii.182

[8]      'Othello', II.iii.342

[9]      'Richard II', II.i.58

[10]     'King John', V.ii.80-82

[11]     Isaiah 14:12

[12]     'Measure For Measure', II.ii.143-148

[13]     'Richard II', II.i.65-66

[14]     'Julius Caesar', III.i.292

[15]     'Richard II', IV.i.138

[16]     'King Lear',

[17]     'Coriolanus', II.iii.118-121

[18]     'Two Gentleman of Verona', III.ii.78; 'Merchant of Venice',

[19]     Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26

[20]     'As You Like It', II.vii.120

[21]     '2 Henry IV', IV.ii.19-22

[22]     'As You Like It', II.vii.143

[23]     'Henry V', 0.19

[24]     'Hamlet', I.v.103-104

[25]     'Twelfth Night', I.v.234

[26]     Hebrews 1:11-12

[27]     Ephesians 4:8

[28]     Ephesians 5:14

Copywrite by Ian Reed, All Rights Reserved.