HAMLET
by
Ronnie Barker
 In olden Scandinavia when standards of behaviour
Were rather lax and Income Tax was tuppence in the ducat
Denmark's democratic king one day became a static king.
He went to rest, became non est, in fact he kicked the bucket.

He had, it seems, been victimised. The reason for his quick demise
Developed from a charming trick of brother Claud, the thug.
Who, while the king was sleeping sound, came silently a-creeping round
And dropped a deadly poison in the royal Danish lug.

Then to the Queen, a flirty gal, he whispered: 'Listen, Gertie gal,
Now I'm the king and everything we might as well be one.
So, when we've had the funeral, or even rather sooner'll
Just suit me fine, oh Gert be mine.' Gert said: 'It might be fun.'

The former king had had a lad, called Hamlet, and a sadder lad
You never saw, a royal bore, an autocratic dope.
In introspective reverie, he'd spend his day forever. 'e
Could ask for nothing better than to sit around and mope.

One night upon the battlement, or so the tittle-tattle went,
A ghost was seen in shades of green a-frightening the warders.
The sergeant, one Sebastian, said: 'Blimey, 'ere's a nasty 'un. 
Go fetch the prince, this 'ere's against the current Standing Orders.'

When Hamlet came the fear he'd had all vanished as his eerie dad 
Told how he'd died. young Hamlet cried, and not without a wince, 
'He poisoned up your ear'ole Dad? Then I'll avenge you, dear old Dad.'
'Thank you kindly,' cried the phantom. 'Not at all,' replied the prince.

'I'll sham,' he said, 'delirium, and worry 'em and weary 'em,
Produce a play, and in this way suspicion I'll dispel.
He went too far, as soon as he decided on this lunacy
The things he did quite soon got rid of half the personnel.

While in a boudoir chatting there, he said he heard a rat in there.
Ignoring the demean-our of the queen and looking on,
He shouted, 'For a duck it's dead.' right through the arras bucketed
And stuck a yard of rapier through his mother's best cretonne.

His statement was eroneous; he'd done for poor Polonius,
Who, embarrassed, from the arras tottered out and sadly said:
'As to make a rat o' me, then puncture my anatomy,
Call this a lark?' With which remark, he hit the carpet, dead.

Polonius a daughter had, who reckoned that she oughter had
Ha' wed the prince some ages since, but all he did was mock 'er,
By saying, 'Dear Ophelia, I really feel you merely are
A silly slut.' - a cruel cut, which sent her off her rocker.

She chanted snatches sundry, sighed, went out into the countryside,
And climbed some trees, still chanting glees, a little off the key.
Alas an envious slither there dropped her into the river there
And, quite serene, she last was seen, a-heading out to sea.

Her brother, name of Laertes, imagined he could slay at ease
Young Hamlet with a poisoned sword which Uncle Claud had lent him.
But Hamlet soon discerned the trick, plugged Laertes and turned the trick
Then made a spring right at the King and rather badly bent him.

Meanwhile a jug of lemonade the King had with some venom made
Caught Gertie's eye, and feeling dry, she drained the poisoned jug.
While Hamlet, still rhetorical, got rather allegorical,
Some phrases coined, then quietly joined his mother on the rug.

And while the bodies dropped around, Horatio, who'd popped around,
To see the end, and superintend, came through the palace doorway.
With Fortinbras and legions of hairy great Norwegians,
Who trampled in with pomp and din and seized the throne for Norway.

The moral of this story, boys, is don't be Death or Glory Boys,
Don't try to rule, or maybe you'll find you are apt to bungle.
Don't bother with detection, lads. Just stick to introspection, lads,
Be kind, be good, and if you would, try not to stab your ungle. 
The end