Through eyelet holes I watched the crowd Rain of confetti fling; Their joy is lush, their laughter loud, For Carnival is King. Behind his chariot I pace To ean my petty pay; They laugh to see my monster face: "Ripe Fruit," I hear them say.
I do not laugh: my shoulders sag; No heart have I for glee, Because I hold aloft a hag Who grins enough for me; A hideous harridan who bears In crapulous display, Like two grub-eaten mouldy pears Her bubbies on a tray.
Ripe Fruit! Oh, God! It's hell to think How I have drifted down Through vice and dice and dope and drink To play the sordid clown; That I who held the golden key To operatic fame, Should gnaw the crust of misery And drain the dregs of shame.
What matter! I'll get soused to-night, And happy I will be, To sit within a tavern bright, A trollop on my knee. . . . So let the crazy pipers pipe, And let the rapture ring: Ripe fruit am I - yea, rotten ripe, And Carnival is King.