Ballade of Ancient Acts

AFTER HENLEY

Where are the wheezes they essayed
And where the smiles they made to flow?
Where's Caron's seltzer siphon laid,
A squirt from which laid Herbert low?
Where's Charlie Case's comic woe
And Georgie Cohan's nasal drawl?
The afterpiece? The olio?
Into the night go one and all.

Where are the japeries, fresh or frayed,
That Fields and Lewis used to throw?
Where is the horn that Shepherd played?
The slide trombone that Wood would blow?
Amelia Glover's l.f. toe?
The Rays and their domestic brawl?
Bert Williams with "Oh, I Don't Know?"
Into the night go one and all.

Where's Lizzy Raymond, peppy jade?
The braggart Lew, the simple Joe?
And where the Irish servant maid
That Jimmie Russel used to show?
Ben Harney's where? And Artie Hall?
Nash Walker, Darktown's grandest beau?
Into the night go one and all.

L'ENVOI

Prince, though our children laugh "Ho! Ho!"
At us who gleefully would fall
For acts that played the Long Ago,
Into the night go one and all.

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"Ballade of Ancient Acts" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 19 Aug. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/14110/ballade-of-ancient-acts>.

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