Sunday, June 19, 2011


The Prince of Clowns

Walter Raleigh (1861-1922), Stand on the Trestles of the World, from Laughter from a Cloud (London: Constable and Company Limited, 1923), p. 151:
Stand on the trestles of the world,
  And mark the humours of the fair,
Where jugglers' flaming knives are hurled,
  And God leads round His starry bear.

Here, on the boards, the prince of clowns,
  Man, in his motley struts and leers,
And with his mirthless laughter drowns
  The humming music of the spheres.

The air grows chill; the farce is played;
  His tinsel doffed, in tattered plight
(See how the torches flare and fade!)
  He passes out into the night.

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