Sway Over Them All
When Mirth walked into the costume ball,
Gasps of surprise quickly filled the hall.
Who could this gaunt spectre be
Whose face evinced such misery?
The lines of loneliness, fear, and grief,
Of burdens borne without relief,
They mutely called to one and all
And said, "In full, I've tasted gall."
But most of all: the tortured eyes
"That mask," said all, "will win the prize."
Unmasking time, it came at last,
And masks came off both slow and fast;
They were lowered down from face to hand
'Til all but one were revealed, and
As the sun rose up to start the day
The consensus prize was gi'en away
"Come," they cried, "winner of first place,
Show us now your real face!"
Then all knew Mirth, his happy smile,
His eyes a-sparkle all the while,
And all the party loudly spoke
For Mirth had pulled a wondrous joke:
While most doffed masks that gala dawn,
Mirth contrived to put his back on.
Christopher J. Cramer
July 29, 1980