Private Theatricals

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

A quite convincing axiom
Is, "Life is like a play";
For, turning back its pages some
Few dog-eared years away,
I find where I
Committed my
Love-tale - with brackets where to sigh.

I feel an idle interest
To read again the page;
I enter, as a lover dressed,
At twenty years of age,
And play the part
With throbbing heart,
And all an actor's glowing art.

And she who plays my Lady-love
Excels! - Her loving glance
Has power her audience to move -
I am her audience. -
Her acting tact,
To tell the fact,
"Brings down the house" in every act.

And often we defy the curse
Of storms and thunder-showers,
To meet together and rehearse
This little play of ours -
I think, when she
"Makes love" to me,
She kisses very naturally!

. . . . . .

Yes; it's convincing - rather -
That "Life is like a play":
I am playing "Heavy Father"
In a "Screaming Farce" to-day,
That so "brings down
The house," I frown,
And fain would "ring the curtain down."

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