Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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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