Exhibition Cameo

Sideshow Alley, 1933
Sideshow Alley 1933 (SLQ Neg 23740) 

The music and the laughter simmer down
Like an ebbing tide that slinks into the dark,
As the last bright firework splutters to a spark
And dies: and all the highways of this town
Of Babylon adopt a heavy frown
As lights fade one by one and blackness stark
Descends, to set its cold and Stygian mark
On wooden horse and boat and tinselled gown.
The drooping clown is shorn of quip and jest;
The showman's harsh-drawn, hoarse and throaty shout
Is buried in the quiet of Night's tomb
And weary-eyed King Carnival takes rest…
A disappointed child who stood without
The gilded grounds goes slowly, sadly home.

                                                  Frank Francis (1943)

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