Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LAST ACT, by PHOEBE CARY



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THE LAST ACT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A wretched farce is our life at best
Last Line: And know as we are known!
Subject(s): Aging


A WRETCHED farce is our life at best,
A weariness under the sun;
I am sick of the part I have to play,
And I would that it were done.

I would that all the smiles and sighs
Of its mimic scenes could end;
That we could see the curtain fall
On the last poor act, my friend!

Thin, faded hair, a beard of snow,
A thoughtful, furrowed brow;
And this is all the world can see
When it looks upon you now.

And I, it almost makes me smile,
'T is counterfeit so true,
To see how Time hath got me up
For the part I have to do.

'T is strange that we can keep in mind,
Through all this tedious play,
The way we needs must act and look,
And the words that we should say.

And I marvel if the young and gay
Believe us sad and old;
If they think our pulses slow and calm,
And our feelings dead and cold!

But I cannot hide myself from you,
Be the semblance e'er so good;
For under it all and through it all
You would know the womanhood.

And you cannot make me doubt your truth,
For all your strange disguise;
For the soul is drawn through your tender voice,
And the heart through the loving eyes.

And I see, where other eyes behold
Thin, whitened locks fall down,
A god-like head, that proudly wears
Its curls like a royal crown.

And I see the smile of the tender lip,
'Neath its manly fringe of jet,
That won my heart, when I had a heart,
And that holds and keeps it yet.

Ah! how shall we act this wretched part
Till its weary, weary close?
For our souls are young, we are lovers yet,
For all our shams and shows!

Let us go and lay our masks aside
In that cool and green retreat,
That is softly curtained from the world
By the daisies fair and sweet.

And far away from this weary life,
In the light of Love's white throne,
We shall see, at last, as we are seen,
And know as we are known!





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