Shakespeare's Kingdom

written by Alfred Noyes

Shakespeare's Kingdom

— Alfred Noyes

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 kings rode on to darkness.
In England's conquering hour,
Unseen arrived her splendour;
Unknown, her conquering power.

About the poet


Alfred Noyes

Alfred Noyes was an English poet, best known for his ballads, "The Highwayman" and "The Barrel-Organ." Early Years Noyes was born in Wolverhampton, England, the son of Alfred and Amelia Adams Noyes. When he was four, the family moved to Aberystwyth, Wales, where his father taught Latin and Greek. The Welsh coast and mountains were an early inspiration to Noyes. In 1898, he left Aberystwyth for Exeter College, Oxford, where he distinguished himself at rowing, but failed to get his degree because, on a crucial day of his finals in 1902, he was meeting his publisher to arrange publication of his first volume of poems, The Loom of Years (1902). From 1903 to 1913, Noyes published five additional volumes of poetry, among them The Flower...

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