Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
Burlesque Address (abridged)
By Fitz-Greene Halleck
On the opening of the New Park Theatre, after the fire, September 1, 1821.

LADIES and gentlemen,
Enlighten’d as you are, you all must know
Our playhouse was burnt down, some time ago,
Without insurance— ’Twas a famous blaze,
Fine fun for firemen, but dull sport for plays.        5
The proudest of our whole dramatic corps
Such warm reception never met before.
It was a woeful night for us and ours;
Worse than dry weather to the fields and flowers.
The evening found us gay as summer’s lark,        10
  Happy as sturgeons in the Tappan Sea;
The morning—like the dove from Noah’s Ark,
  As homeless, houseless, innocent as she,
But—thanks to those who ever have been known
To love the public interest—when their own;        15
Thanks to the men of talent and of trade,
Who joy in doing well—when they’re well paid,
Again our fire-worn mansion is rebuilt,
Inside and outside, neatly carv’d and gilt,
With best of paint and canvas, lath and plaster,        20
The Lord bless Beekman and John Jacob Astor.

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