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.
© Victor Daley