July 3: Putting Words in His Mouth

Brews Before Shrews pint glass

While Shakespeare wrote innumerable lines
That have forever changed our lexicon,
Too often one mistakenly assigns
A phrase to him that must then withdrawn.

He did not ask what tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive- that’s Scott.
No man’s an island- this you may believe,
But Donne it is, and Shakespeare it is not.

Poor Congreve, Milton, Marlowe, Franklin, Browning-
Whose pithiness shall ever be dispensed
By generations who insist in crowning
Shakespeare the King of Wit at their expense.

At least, perhaps he has some competition
From Oscar Wilde in piquant erudition.

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