At The Play

A poem by Virna Sheard

Just above the boxes and where the high lights fall
Looketh down a carven face from out the gilded wall.

Van Dyke beard and broidered ruff silently confess
That he lived - and loved perchance - in days of Good Queen Bess.
(Laces fine and linen sheer, curled and perfumed hair
Well became those gentlemen of gay, insouciant air.)

See! He gazeth evermore at the stage below;
Noteth well the players as they quickly come and go;
Queens and kings and maidens fair, motley fools and friars,
Lords and ladies, stately dames, mounted knights and squires.

Well he knoweth all of them, all the grave and gay,
These are they he dreamt of in the far and far away;
Saints and sinners, see they come down the bygone years,
And the world still shares with them its laughter and its tears.

Still we haunt the greenwood for love of Rosalind,
Still we hear the Jester's bells ajingle on the wind,
Still the frenzied Moor we fear - Ah! and even yet
Breathless wait before the tomb of all the Capulet.

Though the slow years pass away, yet on land and sea,
Follow we the Danish Prince in sad soliloquy;
And I fancy sometimes when the round moon saileth high
Yet in Venice meet the Jew - as he goeth by.

(Just above the boxes and where the high lights fall
Looketh down a carven face from out the gilded wall.)

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