At the Theater

The sun was bright when we went in,
But night and lights were there,
The walls had golden trimming on
And plush on every chair.

The people talked; the music played,
Then it grew black as pitch,
Yes, black as closets full of clothes,
Or caves, I don't know which.

The curtain rolled itself away,
It went I don't know where,
But, oh, that country just beyond,
I do wish we lived there!

The mountain peaks more jagged rise,
Grass grows more green than here;
The people there have redder cheeks,
And clothes more gay and queer.

They laugh and smile, but not the same,
Exactly as we do,
And if they ever have to cry
Their tears are different, too —

More shiny, somehow, and more sad,
You hold your breath to see
If everything will come out right
And they'll live happily;

If Pierrot will kiss Pierrette
Beneath an orange moon,
And Harlequin and Columbine
Outwit old Pantaloon.

You know they will, they always do,
But still your heart must beat,
And you must pray they will be saved,
And tremble in your seat.

And then it's over and they bow
All edged about with light,
The curtain rattles down and shuts
Them every one from sight.

It's strange to find the afternoon
Still bright outside the door,
And all the people hurrying by
The way they were before!
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