Note: The original book from which this E-text
is taken consisted of
4 lines of verse at the bottom of colored illustrations of the
circus procession. The leaves were mounted on boards and joined
together in an accordion-fold format which, fully extended, was
372 cm (146 inches, roughly 12 feet) in length.
Project Gutenberg also has an HTML version of this file which includes the original beautiful illustrations. See 10749-h.htm or 10749-h.zip: (http://www.ibiblio.org/gutenberg/1/0/
7/4/10749/10749-h/10749-h.htm) or (http://www.ibiblio.org/gutenberg/1/0/7/4/10749/10749-h.z
Open the gates, and draw the curtain,
Here comes something fine, that’s certain;
Louder the band begins to play,
Open the gates, and clear the way!
Enters a Queen with a King beside her;
Every horse is proud of his rider;
Two by two they march to the tune,
And head the procession that will follow soon.
Men in livery, in their places,
Make the gay steeds keep their paces,
Soothing down their wildest fears
At the rising shouts and cheers.
Jocko, in these sports a sharer,
Acts the part of a standard-bearer,
While behind him soldiers gay
Bugle notes of victory play.
Now a Clown in line appearing
With a tandem, swells the cheering;
Standing on his Horse’s back
Thus he guides them round the track.
On a Donkey rides another,
Quite as funny as his brother,
Blowing bugle notes so loud,
He astonishes the crowd.
Here’s another Clown arriving,
In a chariot he is driving;
Like a noble Roman drest,
Lo, he guides three steeds abreast!
Nimble little Monkey, Tony,
Rides along upon a pony,
Followed by a stupid Clown,
Who thinks the rain is pouring down.
Here’s a creature, young and slender,
Drest in robes of dazzling splendor,
In a chariot decked with gold;—
She’s the Fairy Queen I’m told.
Close behind her two enormous
Elephants, first-rate performers,
Stalk along with heavy tread,
Sending on their trunks ahead.
Here is something very funny,
Surely worth the entrance money;
At the sight what laughter peals!—
’Tis an Elephant on wheels!
Close behind him a relation,
In a state of perspiration,
Dons his specs, and wields his fan
Just like any gentleman.
Here is Jumbo, gentle creature,
Kindness shown in every feature;
On his back the children are,
Safe as in a jaunting car.
Shetland ponies—small and stocky—
Each one mounted by a jockey—
March ’twixt Elephants and Giraffes;
’Tis no wonder Towser laughs.