Occasional Address For The Opening Of The New Theatre Of St. Stephen,

A poem by Thomas Moore


This day a New House for your edification
We open, most thinking and right-headed nation!
Excuse the materials--tho' rotten and bad,
They're the best that for money just now could be had;
And if echo the charm of such houses should be,
You will find it shall echo my speech to a T.

As for actors, we've got the old Company yet,
The same motley, odd, tragicomical set;
And considering they all were but clerks t'other day,
It is truly surprising how well they can play.
Our Manager,[1] (he who in Ulster was nurst,
And sung Erin go Bragh for the galleries first,
But on finding Pitt-interest a much better thing,
Changed his note of a sudden to God save the King,)
Still wise as he's blooming and fat as he's clever,
Himself and his speeches as lengthy as ever.
Here offers you still the full use of his breath,
Your devoted and long-winded proser till death.

You remember last season, when things went perverse on.
We had to engage (as a block to rehearse on)
One Mr. Vansittart, a good sort of person,
Who's also employed for this season to play,
In "Raising the Wind," and "the Devil to Pay."[2]
We expect too--at least we've been plotting and planning--
To get that great actor from Liverpool, Canning;
And, as at the Circus there's nothing attracts
Like a good single combat brought in 'twixt the acts,
If the Manager should, with the help of Sir Popham,
Get up new diversions and Canning should stop 'em,
Who knows but we'll have to announce in the papers,
"Grand fight--second time--with additional capers."

Be your taste for the ludicrous, humdrum, or sad,
There is plenty of each in this House to be had.
Where our Manager ruleth, there weeping will be,
For a dead hand at tragedy always was he;
And there never was dealer in dagger and cup,
Who so smilingly got all his tragedies up.
His powers poor Ireland will never forget,
And the widows of Walcheren weep o'er them yet.

So much for the actors;--for secret machinery,
Traps, and deceptions, and shifting of scenery,
Yarmouth and Cum are the best we can find,
To transact all that trickery business behind.
The former's employed too to teach us French jigs,
Keep the whiskers in curl and look after the wigs.

In taking my leave now, I've only to say,
A few Seats in the House, not as yet sold away,
May be had of the Manager, Pat Castlereagh.

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