Shakespeare by Wilbur D. Nesbit

Shakespeare
by Wilbur D. Nesbit

Image of William Shakespear holding a skull







Shakspeare, as all of us have read,
Once asked: "What's in a name?"
An alias for the rose, he said,
Would make it smell the same.
But Shakspeare was so frivolous—
Excuse us if we say
That it has always seemed to us
His work was mostly play.
As "Shaxpere," "Shakspere," "Shaikspeare," too,
His signature is found;
His autographs are much too few
To be passed all around.
This shows the cumulative worth
Of honest, solid fame;
The bidders come from all the earth
To buy his misspelled name.
He dramatized the thrilling scene
Where Cæsar met his end,
Where Casca, hungry, lank and lean,
And Brutus, Cæsar's friend,
Stabbed swiftly with their daggers bright
When Julius came in reach—
Then Antony, thrilled at the sight,
Arose and made a speech.
No chorus girls were in his shows;
In them no "social queens"
Were given princely wage to pose
And dignify the scenes.
But there be those who say there are
Odd facts that can't be passed:
For instance, oft we see a star
With ciphers in the cast—
And this leads many to declare
That Bacon wrote the shows;
A cryptic secret hidden there
They say they will disclose.
It may be that each drama hoards
A Bacon cryptogram,
For often, proud upon the boards
There struts and strides a ham.