Players

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And after all — and after all,
   Our passionate prayers, and sighs, and tears,
Is life a reckless carnival?
   And are they lost, our golden years?

Ah, no; ah, no; for, long ago,
   Ere time could sear, or care could fret,
There was a youth called Romeo,
   There was a maid named Juliet.

The players of the past are gone;
   The races rise; the races pass;
And softly over all is drawn
   The quiet Curtain of the Grass.

But when the world went wild with Spring,
   What days we had! Do you forget?
When I of all the world was King,
   And you were my Queen Juliet?

The things that are; the things that seem —
   Who shall distinguish shape from show?
The great processional, splendid dream
   Of life is all I wish to know.

The gods their faces turn away
   From nations and their little wars;
But we our golden drama play
   Before the footlights of the stars.

There lives — though Time should cease to flow,
   And stars their courses should forget —
There lives a grey-haired Romeo,
   Who loves a golden Juliet.

This work is in the public domain in Australia because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (August 2014).


This work is also in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in Australia in 1996, and no copyright was registered in the U.S. (This is the combined effect of Australia having joining the Berne Convention in 1928, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.)

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.