Henry Austin Dobson

(18 January 1840 – 2 September 1921 / Plymouth)

When Burbadge Played


WhenN Burbadge played, the stage was bare
Of fount and temple, tower and stair;
Two backswords eked a battle out;
Two supers made a rabble rout;
The throne of Denmark was a chair!

And yet, no less, the audience there
Thrilled, through all changes of Despair,
Hope, Anger, Fear, Delight, and Doubt
When Burbadge played!

This is the Actor's gift: to share
All moods, all passions, nor to care
One whit for scene, so he without
Can lead men's minds the roundabout
Stirred as of old those hearers were,
When Burbadge played!

Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
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