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Night's Mardi Gras

by Edward Jewitt Wheeler (1859 - 1922)
Night is the true democracy. When day
     Like some great monarch with his train has passed,
     In regal romp and splendor to the last,
The stars troop forth along the Milky Way,
A jostling crowd, in radiant disarray,
     On heaven's broad boulevard in pagents vast.
     And things of earth, the hunted and outcast,
Come from their haunts and hiding-places; yea,
Even from the nooks and crannies of the mind
      Visions uncouth and vagrant fancies start,
          And specters of dead joy, that shun the light,
And impotent regrets and terrors blind,
     Each one, in form grotesque, playing its part
          In the fantastic Mardi Gras of Night.
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