In the poem "Laugh and be Merry," John Masefield takes the reader on a whirlwind ride through life itself. Indeed, there are many reasons to do just as the title advises, among which are:
Stanza 1 - Life Itself. Just the experience of life is enough to cause one to laugh and be merry. Just to be a part of the "proud pageant of man" is enough to accomplish this end if it is appreciated as it should be.
Stanza 2 - Youth. "In olden time" God took us and filled us with the "strong red wine" of youth and vitality. To fail to cherish this aspect of life is a tragedy, and will cause one to miss an opportunity that will not come again.
Stanza 3 - A Life's Work. "Laugh, and battle, and work, and drink," the elements that make a life pleasing and productive. Accomplishment always brings a "merry" result.
Stanza 4 - Fellowship. "The rooms of a beautiful inn," "dancing," "music," and "friends." These all imply the contribution of companionship and fellowship to make one laugh and be merry indeed.