As a new feature, Gregory Laughlin, Associate Professor of Law and Law Library Director at the Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, will post from time-to-time writings which relate to the day of the year or of the Church Calendar, along with, where available, links to readings of those writing available on YouTube on elsewhere. This will serve as a sort of literary book of days, or, rather, blog of days, if you will.

Today, April 26, was the date of the baptism of William Shakespeare in 1564 at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was the third child and first son of John and Mary (Arden) Shakespeare, and the first to survive into adulthood. The Shakespeares would have five more children, four of whom survived to be adults. John Shakespeare was a prosperous glover and leather worker and the son of a farmer, Richard Shakespeare. Fifty years after his death, Thomas Plume related of a conversation with Sir John Mennes, in which the latter reported that John Shakespeare had told him that “Will was a good honest fellow, but he durst have cracked a jest with him at any time.”

In commemoration of William Shakespeare’s baptism, Sonnet 71:

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell;
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it; for I love you so,
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O, if (I say) you look upon this verse,
When I (perhaps) compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,
But let your love even with my life decay,
Lest the wise world should look into your moan,
And mock you with me after I am gone.

A reading of this sonnet by the actor David Tennant: