Night's Mardi Gras

Edward J. Wheeler

Night is the true democracy.  When day
 Like some great monarch with his train has passed,
 In regal pomp 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 pageants 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.