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The End Of The Play
by [?]


The play is done; the curtain drops,
Slow falling to the prompter’s bell;
A moment yet the actor stops
And looks around to say farewell.
It is an irksome word and task;
And, when he’s laughed and said his say,
He shows, as he removes the mask,
A face that’s anything but gay.

One word ere yet the evening ends;
Let’s close it with a parting rhyme,
And pledge a hand to all young friends,
As fits the merry Christmas-time.
On life’s wide scene you, too, have parts,
That fate erelong shall bid you play;
Good-night! with honest, gentle hearts
A kindly greeting go alway.

Come wealth or want, come good or ill,
Let young and old accept their part,
And bow before the Awful Will,
And bear it with an honest heart.
Who misses or who wins the prize,
Go, lose or conquer as you can;
But if you fail, or if you rise,
Be each, pray God, a gentleman.

A gentleman, or old or young!
(Bear kindly with my humble lays);
The sacred chorus first was sung
Upon the first of Christmas days;
The shepherds heard it overhead,
The joyful angels raised it then;
Glory to heaven on high, it said,
And peace on earth to gentle men.

My song, save this, is little worth;
I lay the weary pen aside,
And wish you health, and love, and mirth,
As fits the solemn Christmas-tide.
As fits the holy Christmas birth,
Be this, good friends, our carol still–
Be peace on earth, be peace on earth,
To men of gentle will.