A Contribution from Ray Bradbury

"A poem written on learning that Shakespeare and Cervantes both died on the same day." -- Ray Bradbury

Great Shakespeare lost, Cervantes gone
The sun at noon goes down.  The dawn
Refuses light.  Time holds its breath
At this coincidence of death
Then can it be? and is it so
That these twin gods to darkness go
All in a day! and none to stop
The harvesting of this fell crop
Each in its field, and each so bright
They, burning, hurled away the night.
Yet night returns to seize its due,
One Spirit Spout? No! Death takes two.
First one. The world goes wry from lack
Then two! tips world to balance back.
Two Comet strikes within a week,
First Spain, then dumbstruck England's cheek.
The world grinds mute in dreads and fears
Antarctica melts down to tears,
And Caesars ghosts erupted, rise
All bleeding Amazons from eyes,
An age has ended, yet must stay
As witness to a brutal day
When witless God left us alone
By deathing Will, then Spanish clone.
Who dares to try and gauge each pen
We shall not see such twins again.
Shakespeare is lost, Cervantes dead?
The conduits of God are bled
And gone the Light, and shut the clay
Two Titans gone within a day,
Two felled by one sure stroke of death,
Christ gapes his wounds.  God stops his breath.
And we are staggered by twin falls
The vastness of the day appalls
As if a tribunal of Kings
From Caesars down to our Royal Things,
A pageant of rich royalty
Were drowned in Time's obscenity.
Who ordered thus: "Two giants - die."
First one and then our other eye
God shut the great, then greatest dream
One not enough? No, it would seem
A void half full if Shakespeare, done
Went down to doom at sunset's gun.
So then lamenting, then with laugh,
God seized and filled the other half.
Cervantes pulled across the sill
To heart of Comet brim and fill.
God sent both forth, twin stars whose fire
Birthed whales and beauteous beasts for hire
And long years since we beg for rides
Where Cervantes plus Shakespeare hides
Their fall? knocked echoes round the Stage
And still we reckon our outrage
Because where is the sense in this
Our left hand and our right we miss
Which clapped together made applause
For God and Primal Cosmic Cause.
But Cervantes and Bard strewn cold
Two wild Dreams in one dumb soil mold?
Let all the echoes flow in tides
Where comets are their flowering brides
And Cervantes and bawdy Will
Do windmill fight our hopes uphill
And rouse us up in nightmare bed
To cry: Quixote, Hamlet, dead?
In one fell day? Get off! Get. Go!
Such funerals I will not know.
Their graves, their stones, these I refuse.
Lend me their books, show me their Muse.
By end of day or, latest, week,
I bid Cervantes/Shakespeare speak
To brim my heart, to fill my head
With what? Good Don. Fine Lear. Not dead. Not dead!