A FALLEN STAR
 
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Thirty years ago I was a fav'rite at the `Vic.'
A finished actor, not a Cuff and Collar shooting stick.
I roused the house to laughter, or called forth the silent tear,
And made enthusiastic gods vociferously cheer.
Those were the days, the palmy days, of historic art,
Without a moment's notice I'd go on for any part.
I do not wish to gas, I merely state in self-defence,
The denizens of New Cut thought my Hamlet was immense.
Thirty years ago! I can hear them shout `Bravo,'
When after fighting armies I could never show a scar,
That time, alas! is gone, and the light that erstwhile shone
Was the light of a falling star.

From patrons of the circle too, I had my meed of praise,
The ladies all admired me in those happy halcyon days.
My charm of manner, easy grace, and courtly oldworld air,
Heroic bursts of eloquence, or villain's dark despair.
I thrilled my audience thrilled 'em as they never had been thrilled
And filled the theatre nightly as it never had been filled!
Right through the mighty gamut of emotions I could range
From classic Julius Caesar to the `Idiot of the Grange'.
Thirty years ago! I was someone in the show,
And now I pass unrecognised in crowded street or bar!
The firmament of fame holds no record of my name,
The name of a fallen star!

The dramas that I played in were not all upon the stage.
Nor did I in an hour become the petted of the age.
Oft in my youthful days I've sung `Hot Codlins' as the clown,
And turned my face away to hide the tear-drops rolling down.
And when the pit and gallery saw I'd wiped the paint away,
They shouted, `Go it, Joey. Ain't 'e funny? Hip hooray!'
My triumphs, and my failures, my rise, and then my fall!
They've rung the bell, the curtain's down, I'm waiting for my call!
Bills - not those I owe - but old play-bills of the show!
My name is Hamlet, Lear, Virginius, Shylock, Ingomar!
The laurel on my brow... a favourite and now...
Forgotten! a fallen star!
 
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Written and composed by Albert Chevalier & Alfred H. West (1898)
Performed by Albert Chevalier (1861-1923)
 
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