When Shakespeare Laughed

When Shakespeare laughed, the fun began!
Even the tavern barmaids ran
To choke in secret, and unbent
A lace, to ease their merriment.
The Mermaid rocked to hear the man.

Then Ben his aching girth would span,
And roar above his pasty pan,
" Avast there, Will, for I am spent! "
When Shakespeare laughed.

I' faith, let him be grave who can
When Falstaff, Puck and Caliban
In one explosive jest are blent.
The boatmen on the river lent
An ear to hear the mirthful clan
When Shakespeare laughed.
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