2018-03-10 02:37:04 UTC
We are aware that Spenser, the Poet Laureat, by most accounts, was England's greatest poet, not Shakespeare, who we say was the greatest over-all writer. But it seems odd that, though the two were in London at the same time and must have visited the same circles, so little is revealed about Shakespeare in this connection.
Must be that several likely connections between the two are eminently explorable, yet we aren't seeing it in print. There is one noteable occasion when Shakespeare must have wanted to be involved. Here's the description found in one Spenser commentary by John Hart, Spenser and the Fairy Queen (1854), 138:
Spenser was buried, at his own request, near the tomb of Chaucer, in Westminster Abbey. His funeral was at the expense of the Earl of Essex. The pall was held by brother poets. Mournful elegies and poems, together with the pens that wrote them, were thrown into his grave.
Gadzooks! Zounds! (late 16th century: contraction from (God)'s wounds (i.e., those of Jesus Christ on the Cross).) This "throwing into the grave" of Spenser invites us to imagine that Shakespeare attended the funeral, wrote something mournful, and threw it and his pen into the grave along with other notable literati. Where is Delia Bacon, who tried to dig up Shakespeare's grave, now that we need her to dig up Spencer and see what's in his coffin?