Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Night's Mardi Gras


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.

       
— Edward Jewitt Wheeler


One doesn't typically equate temperance with the revelry of Mardi Gras but the author of Night's Mardi Gras, Dr. Edward J. Wheeler (1859-1922) was the editor of, The Voice — a prominent prohibition publication. Wheeler also served as the first president of the Poetry Society of America, a
post he held for ten years.