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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Mountebanks

By Charles Henry Lüders (1858–1891)

OVER our heads the branches made

A canopy of woven shade.

The birds about this beechen tent

Like deft attendants came and went.

A shy wood-robin, fluting low,

Furnished the music for the show.

The cricket and the grasshopper

A portion of the audience were.

Thither did Fancy leap to fling

Light summersaults around the ring.

Wit, the sly jester of the Town,

And rustic Humor played the clown.

Reason was ringmaster, and waved

His whip when these his anger braved.

Wishes were horses that each rode

Unto his heart’s desire’s abode.

There Laughter and Delight and Glee

Performed their parts that all might see,

Till a sweet wind across the clover

Whispered: “At last, the show is over.”

And the broad shadow of a cloud

Moved from us like a moving crowd.