Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
November 19
The Dead Player
By John James Meehan
          W. J. Florence was an American comedian who died on Nov. 19, 1891.

    “ONLY a player dead!”
    How light the words are said!
Each year the olden circle narrows down;
    The shadows gather less,
    The shoulders fewer press,        5
Upon the shield that guards the actor’s crown.
    If in some life there be
    A flitting memory,
A tear for love, a prayer for home, a smile
    That these have made to come        10
    In hearts to music dumb,
Is kinder deed engraved on tomb or pile?
    Good night! The curtain falls:
    When last the prompter calls,
Upon our eyes may grow another scene,        15
    Where all the players gray
    Shall fill the misty day,
With songs in woodland valleys soft and green.

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