Inscriptions for the Four Sides of a Pedestal


     Marlowe, the father of the sons of song
       Whose praise is England's crowning praise, above
     All glories else that crown her, sweet and strong
       As England, clothed with light and fire of love,
     And girt with might of passion, thought, and trust,
     Stands here in spirit, sleeps not here in dust.


     Marlowe, a star too sovereign, too superb,
       To fade when heaven took fire from Shakespeare's light,
     A soul that knew but song's triumphal curb
       And love's triumphant bondage, holds of right
     His pride of place, who first in place and time
     Made England's voice as England's heart sublime.


     Marlowe bade England live in living song:
       The light he lifted up lit Shakespeare's way:
     He spake, and life sprang forth in music, strong
       As fire or lightning, sweet as dawn of day.
     Song was a dream where day took night to wife:
     "Let there be life," he said: and there was life.


     Marlowe of all our fathers first beheld
       Beyond the tidal ebb and flow of things
     The tideless depth and height of souls, impelled
       By thought or passion, borne on waves or wings,
     Beyond all flight or sight but song's: and he
     First gave our song a sound that matched our sea.