Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
The Players
By Bliss Carman (1861–1929)
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        5
  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,        10
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        15
  On this round stage.
In front, unknown, beyond the glare
  Vague shadows loom;
And sounds like muttering winds are there
  Foreboding doom.        20
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        25
  Fill our desire,
When the dark Prompter gives us pause
  And we retire.

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