Language is used to entertain in the form of jokes, puns, riddles, and language play.
The OED, before listing its definitions, notes that "all the uses of 'play' are seen to arise naturally from a primary notion 'to exercise, bestir, or busily occupy oneself,' the line of development having been here determined by the recreative or divertive
purpose of the exercise" and there is arguably a sense that the words being described by the poet are in fact a form of occupation, as they distract the speakers from the real reason for their meeting.
He later moved into divertive
therapy and began working with his wife in a care home that was unexpectedly shut down.
What this and many other interpretations prove is that, insofar as "mythology" contained so many divertive
narrations of society, descriptions that proffered "sub-versions" of its official history and thereby undermined any illusions of its apparent harmonious unity and continuity, it was not (as Mannheim presumed) a totalitarian ideology.
It was performed before White-Hall, in Honour of the Royal Family, and before Somerset-House, in Respect to Her Majesty the Queen Dowager; Te Deum Laudamus being Sung in both Places; and was Attended along the River with innumerable Boats and Barges, Accommodated with Torches and Flambeaux; so that, besides the inestimable Delight of the Ear, the Eye was Courted with most a [sic] Divertive