Players

And after all -- and after all,
   Our passionate prayers, and sighs, and tears,
Is life a reckless carnival?
   And are they lost, our golden years?

Ah, no; ah, no; for, long ago,
   Ere time could sear, or care could fret,
There was a youth called Romeo,
   There was a maid named Juliet.

The players of the past are gone;
   The races rise; the races pass;
And softly over all is drawn
   The quiet Curtain of the Grass.

But when the world went wild with Spring,
   What days we had! Do you forget?
When I of all the world was King,
   And you were my Queen Juliet?

The things that are; the things that seem --
   Who shall distinguish shape from show?
The great processional, splendid dream
   Of life is all I wish to know.

The gods their faces turn away
   From nations and their little wars;
But we our golden drama play
   Before the footlights of the stars.

There lives -- though Time should cease to flow,
   And stars their courses should forget --
There lives a grey-haired Romeo,
   Who loves a golden Juliet.

by Victor James Daley

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