Page:Our American Holidays - Christmas.djvu/209

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181
THE END OF THE PLAY

A moment yet the actor stops,
  And looks around, to say farewell.
It is an irksome word and task;
  And, when he's laughed and said his say,
He shows, as he removes his mask,
  A face that's anything but gay.

One word, ere yet the evening ends,
  Let's close it with a parting rhyme;
And pledge a hand to all young friends.
  As fits the merry Christmas time.
On life's wide scene you, too, have parts
  That fate erelong shall bid you play;
Good-night!—with honest, gentle hearts
  A kindly greeting go alway!

Good-night!—I'd say the griefs, the joys,
  Just hinted in this mimic page.
The triumphs and defeats of boys.
  Are but repeated in our age.
I'd say your woes were not less keen.
  Your hopes more vain than those of men,
Your pangs or pleasures of fifteen
  At forty-five played o'er again.

I'd say we suffer and we strive.
  Not less nor more as men than boys.
With grizzled beards at forty-five
  As erst at twelve in corduroys;
And if, in time of sacred youth,
  We learned at home to love and pray,