James Whitcomb Riley

7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana

Private Theatricals

A quite convincing axiom
Is, 'Life is like a play';
For, turning back its pages some
Few dog-eared years away,
I find where I
Committed my
Love-tale--with brackets where to sigh.

I feel an idle interest
To read again the page;
I enter, as a lover dressed,
At twenty years of age,
And play the part
With throbbing heart,
And all an actor's glowing art.

And she who plays my Lady-love
Excels!--Her loving glance
Has power her audience to move--
I am her audience.--
Her acting tact,
To tell the fact,
'Brings down the house' in every act.

And often we defy the curse
Of storms and thunder-showers,
To meet together and rehearse
This little play of ours--
I think, when she
'Makes love' to me,
She kisses very naturally!

. . . . . .

Yes; it's convincing--rather--
That 'Life is like a play':
I am playing 'Heavy Father'
In a 'Screaming Farce' to-day,
That so 'brings down
The house,' I frown,
And fain would 'ring the curtain down.'
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