Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your minds;
this day we bid praise to the poet of poets,
the pride of thespians, the god of philologists–the bard.
So collect your courage, thou hearty enthusiasts,
and rend your brains ’til sweet verse from thine lips fall
in tribute to him, for hadst ne’er he lived,
our heritage as Englishmen wouldst we hold infinitely cheaper.
Speaketh, this day, therefore, in a prettier tongue,
and takest up this quest of creative linguistic enterprise
lest his ghost return, as ghosts do so oft in his plays,
and taunt you with flamboyant insults of cowardice.
“Thou crusty botch of nature!” is what he wouldst call thee
if thee dost fail to entertain;
“Thou stale old mouse-eaten dry cheese!” is how he would chide;
so wherefore do you not participate?
If thou shouldst require aid in this noble engagement, seek within
and arm thine verbal arsenal; let not thy trepidation nor thine idleness
deprive you of honorable legacy. So Go! And assume Shakespearean airs.
For tis nobler in the mind to suffer slight embarrassment
than risk William’s ghost return and assured harassment.
Happy Birthday Mr. Shakespeare!