Heavy moon rising above our sleepless streets
To carriage wheels a-clatter on broken cobblestone,
To shrill foreign laughter
That rattles the rafters
Of abandoned townhalls sitting piously alone.
Tonight's the night when gondolas come sailing
Bedecked in the glitter of faraway shores,
And the hot wine keeps flowing,
Red paper lamps a-glowing,
And the dancers at the rumba are keeping the score.
Sweaty-eyed, they're thronging to the fire-eater's pit,
And the caravan where temporal fortunes are sold,
And the old gipsy witches
Will promise you riches
By orbs that tell secrets in silver and gold.
Footsteps crescendo on echoing streets
As the masquerade passes in unbroken line,
Hangmen and heroes,
And black-hooded Zorros,
Kings, demons, jesters, and angels struck blind.
Under the eye of the ivory moon
The pantomime plays till distant bells chime,
Then encores are taken,
The citadel awakens,
And the dark yawning river bides its time.