Richard Henry Stoddard

To Edmund Clarence Stedman

(With Shakespeare's Sonnets)

HAD we been living in the antique days,
With him, whose young but cunning fingers penned
These sugared sonnets to his strange-sweet friend,
I dare be sworn we would have won the bays.
Why not? We could have turned in amorous phrase
Fancies like these, where love and friendship blend,
(Or were they writ for some more private end?)
And this, we see, remembered is with praise.
Yes, there's a luck in most things, and in none
More than in being born at the right time;
It boots not what the labor to be done,
Or feats of arms, or art, or building rhyme.
Not that the heavens the little can make great,
But many a man has lived an age too late.

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