To be or
That is the question.
Happy Birthday to the Bard. And Happy Death Day to the Bard.
William Shakespeare was born four hundred fifty years ago today.
He shuffled off this mortal coil three hundred ninety-eight years ago today, on his fifty-second birthday.
History did not record the cause of his demise.
He is considered by most to be the greatest writer in the English language.
And who's to argue?
Rest in peace, bright star among playwrights, most productive of poets, most worthy of pirate wordsmiths, consummate lover of our exquisite mother tongue.
With the sole exception of the King James Bible, nothing could be finer.
Then let not Winter's ragged hand deface
In thee thy summer, ere thou be distill'd:
Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place
With beauty's treasure, ere it be self-kill'd.
That use is not forbidden usury,
Which happies those that pay the willing loan;
That's for thyself to breed another thee,
Or ten times happier, be it ten for one;
Ten times thyself were happier than thou art,
If ten of thine ten times refigur'd thee:
Then what could Death do, if thou shouldst depart,
Leaving thee living in posterity?
Be not self-will'd, for thou art much too fair,
To be Death's conquest and make worms thine heir.