Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1321. The Mountebanks
 
By Charles Henry Luders
 
 
OVER our heads the branches made
A canopy of woven shade.
 
The birds about this beechen tent
Like deft attendants came and went.
 
A shy wood-robin, fluting low,        5
Furnished the music for the show.
 
The cricket and the grasshopper
A portion of the audience were.
 
Thither did Fancy leap to fling
Light summersaults around the ring.        10
 
Wit, the sly jester of the Town,
And rustic Humor played the clown;
 
Reason was ringmaster, and waved
His whip when these his anger braved;
 
Wishes were horses that each rode        15
Unto his heart’s desire’s abode.
 
There Laughter and Delight and Glee
Performed their parts that all might see,
 
Till a sweet wind across the clover
Whispered, “At last, the show is over,”        20
 
And the broad shadow of a cloud
Moved from us like a moving crowd.
 

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