The purpose of explaining this poem albeit through my interpretation becomes even more vital when all hope seems lost in this raging Covid-19 pandemic.
Happy reading and remember to laugh and be merry like John Masefield had asked of us.
Laugh and be merry, remember, better the world with a song,
Better the world with a blow in the teeth of a wrong.
Laugh, for the time is brief, a thread the length of a span.
Laugh and be proud to belong to the old proud pageant of man.
The poet asks us to be cheerful and be joyous for the world is better with songs instead of sighs. The world is better with shunning the wrongs of the world. The poet asks us to laugh for the time is brief and our time is like short like a thread. The poet asks us to laugh and be proud to belong to the mystical miracle that is mankind.
Laugh and be merry: remember, in olden time.
God made Heaven and Earth for joy He took in a rhyme,
Made them, and filled them full with the strong red wine of
The splendid joy of the stars: the joy of the earth.
The poet asks us to laugh and be happy and remember that God had made heaven and Earth to abound in joy. God as if joyous to music tried to replicate the rhyme by making mankind and filled them with red wine, symbolic of the Christian notion of life and blood. He filled mankind with his happiness, the joy of the stars and the joy of the Earth.
So we must laugh and drink from the deep blue cup of the sky,
Join the jubilant song of the great stars sweeping by,
Laugh, and battle, and work, and drink of the wine outpoured
In the dear green earth, the sign of the joy of the Lord.
So the poet says that as God as meticulously made humans with so much effort we must laugh and cherish our moments on Earth represented by drinking from the deep blue cup of the sky. We must join in the celebration and songs of the great shooting stars. We must live our lives to the fullest by being happy, battling and working our way against odds and cherish the life given to us like the red wine. The poet says that our Earth is dear for it is proof and symbol of the bountiful joy of God.
Laugh and be merry together, like brothers akin,
Guesting awhile in the rooms of a beautiful inn,
Glad till the dancing stops, and the lilt of the music ends.
Laugh till the game is played; and be you merry, my friends.
The poet repeats himself by asking us to laugh and sway with joy. We must live together in peace and harmony like brothers and like guests in the beautiful inn that is the Earth. We must be glad till the dancing stops and the music ends, which means we must never take life for granted and cherish it till it lasts and laugh joyously till the game of life draws to a close.