All the world’s a stage, female version by Peter Baxter

       All the world’s a stage,                      by  Peter Shakespeare Baxter

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one woman in her time plays many parts,

Her acts being in nine ages. At first, the infant,

Mewling and puking in her nurse’s arms.

Then the young lady, with her satchel

And her lovely made up face, shining like a star,

Learning earnestly in school. And then the mother,

With the whole world in her hands, competing with in another world

Designed by man for man. Then a divorcee,

Full of strange oaths and looking for a new partner,

Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Even in the in-laws mouth. And then the fight,

With a fair round belly with good capon lined,

With massacred eyes and a surgeons formal cut,

Experienced and wise but competing with modern instances;

And so she plays her part. The sixth age shifts her

Into her lean and sexy pants that she keeps aloof,

Her spectacles on her nose and her handbag on her side;

Her youthful hose too young saved, for a world all too wise,

The seventh age is the very opposite of childishness when

She was so quick to learn and never did forget,

And now the eighth age rumbles on with her grand children

She will laugh and cry, unto the that time that she may die,

Last scene of all, that ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and in a nappy bound,

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.


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