From the Book of Valentines

by Bliss Carman




We are the players of a play 
As old as earth, 
Between the wings of night and day, 
With tears and mirth.

There is no record of the land

From whence it came,
No legend of the playwright's hand,
No bruited fame

Of those who for the piece were cast 
On that first night, 


When God drew up His curtain vast 
And there was light.

Before our eyes as we come on,
From age to age, 
Flare up the footlights of the dawn 


On this round stage.

In front, unknown, beyond the glare 
Vague shadows loom; 
And sounds like muttering winds are there 
Foreboding doom.


Yet wistfully we keep the boards;
And as we mend
The blundering forgotten words,
Hope to the end

To hear the storm-beat of applause 

Fill our desire 
When the dark Prompter gives us pause, 
And we retire.