'Twas Dorkins' night and the house was a sight|
It was packed from the floor to the roof,
His old friends were there as they annually were
When their friendship was put to the proof--
And the welcoming shout which from thousands rang out,
As their favourite came from the wing,
Convinced him he still could command them at will
And their laughter or tears could bring.
But they knew not the pain at the poor player's breast,
As he strutted and mimic'd and smiled,
That while from his lips fell the mirth-giving jest,
He thought of his poor dying child.
The first act was o'er and a deafening roar
Of cheering went heartily round,
The second act passed, but alas, in the last
Dorkins scarcely could utter a sound,
They saw with dismay, he was spoiling the play,
It was plain there was something amiss,
And the unfeeling wit of the gods and the pit,
Came at last to a palpable hiss.
He started, turn'd pale, and his form seemed to quail,
But he came to the footlights and spoke,
And the listening house was as still as a mouse,
Till the silence be falteringly broke,
My little ones dead, I left him in bed,
Nearly gone when this drama began,
Yet I hoped he would live, you will surely forgive
For an actor can be but a man.
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