THE OLD COUNTRY CIRCUS.
How dear to my heart is the show of my childhood,
The old country circus my infancy knew;
In these days of three rings, hippodromes, railroads,
How fond recollections present them to view;
For weeks while the posters on fences and church sheds,
Portrayed to my young eyes the scenes that should be;
No soft thrill of love, no throb of ambition,
Has equalled the bliss I gained dreaming of thee;
The old country circus, the shambly old circus,
The wandering old circus my infancy knew.
How faithful I worked in the ways that presented,
To gain the few pennies my ticket should buy;
No toil was so sweetened, no reward so stupendous,
No miser e'er cherished his hoard as did I;
How fair the sun shone on the glad day appointed,
How rife with strange bustle the sleepy old town:
And when o'er the hill came the rumbling wagons,
The bound, of my heart said, "The circus has come; "
The old country circus, the faded old circus,
The one horse old circus my infancy knew.
What pageant of now can that "grand entry "compass?
What wit of to-day like those jokes of the ring?
And those divans of pine boards-such ease oriental,
No reserved stuffed chair of the present can bring;
One elephant only-satisfying, majestic,
Nor Jumbo, nor sacred, neither painted nor white;
Take them all, and the whole gilded fraudulent humbug,
For a single return of that honest delight;
The old country circus, the wandering old circus,
The shabby old circus my infancy knew?