familiar in face and clothes,
The understudy in my comedy,
O'er stages mine, in costumes mine, he goes.
I'm well rehearsed for death. No mystery.
The boy, whose laughter often and again
In Act One lightened hearts, did perish there.
The youth who loved, the man who dreamed and then
Departed ere the final curtain? Where?
Departed are they to a sunlit glade,
The mind's Elysium, where laughter, love, and dream
Are burnished to a finer, deeper shade,
Where golden leaf supplants each withered green.
No sadness then, when old men softly sigh,
'Tis Heaven come to meet us ere we die.