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The Actor

From The Tacoma Times, October 11, 1912.
By Berton Braley.

 We laugh at the way he swaggers and poses
   And talks of his triumphs in various parts,
 We grin at the tale which he grandly discloses,
   And yet—there is sympathy deep in our hearts;
 For his is a life which is brief in its glory
   And long, oh, so long, in its struggle and strain!
 Who minds if he boasts of a fame transitory
   And tells of it over and over again?
 For when on the stage he is placing before us
   The passion and beauty and wonder of life,
 The work of the masters who never can bore us,
   The love and the laughter, the stress and the strife.
 He makes us forget, for the time, all the real,
   The everyday world, in the world of romance;
 He wakes us again to our youthful ideal
   When love was a melody, life was a dance!
 And this he must do, though his own heart is breaking,
   Though life has been cruel and fortune a jade;
 Though fame stays a day and is years in the making,
   The “play is the thing,” and the role must be played!
 He serves us full well where the footlights are gleaming,
   So give him his “bravo,” his glad curtain call,
 And leave him in peace to his boasts and his dreaming—
   He’s earned them, in truth, and he’s paid for them all!

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