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The Pantomime Super to His Mask

Vast empty shell!
Impertinent, preposterous abortion!
With vacant stare,
And ragged hair,
And every feature out of all proportion!
Embodiment of echoing inanity!
Excellent type of simpering insanity!
Unwieldy, clumsy nightmare of humanity!
I ring thy knell!

To-night thou diest,
Beast that destroy'st my heaven-born identity!
Nine weeks of nights,
Before the lights,
Swamped in thine own preposterous nonentity,
I've been ill-treated, cursed, and thrashed diurnally,
Credited for the smile you wear externally -
I feel disposed to smash thy face, infernally,
As there thou liest!

I've been thy brain:
I'VE been the brain that lit thy dull concavity!
The human race
Invest MY face
With thine expression of unchecked depravity,
Invested with a ghastly reciprocity,
I'VE been responsible for thy monstrosity,
I, for thy wanton, blundering ferocity -
But not again!

'T is time to toll
Thy knell, and that of follies pantomimical:
A nine weeks' run,
And thou hast done
All thou canst do to make thyself inimical.
Adieu, embodiment of all inanity!
Excellent type of simpering insanity!
Unwieldy, clumsy nightmare of humanity!
Freed is thy soul!

(THE MASK RESPONDETH.)

Oh! master mine,
Look thou within thee, ere again ill-using me.
Art thou aware
Of nothing there
Which might abuse thee, as thou art abusing me?
A brain that mourns THINE unredeemed rascality?
A soul that weeps at THY threadbare morality?
Both grieving that THEIR individuality
Is merged in thine?

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:12 min read
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William Schwenck Gilbert

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert was an English dramatist librettist poet and illustrator best known for his fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan of which the most famous include HMS Pinafore The Pirates of Penzance and one of the most frequently performed works in the history of musical theatre The Mikado These as well as most of their other Savoy operas continue to be performed regularly throughout the English-speaking world and beyond by opera companies repertory companies schools and community theatre groups Lines from these works have become part of the English language such as short sharp shock What never Well hardly ever and Let the punishment fit the crime Gilbert also wrote the Bab Ballads an extensive collection of light verse accompanied by his own comical drawings His creative output included over 75 plays and libretti numerous stories poems lyrics and various other comic and serious pieces His plays and realistic style of stage direction inspired other dramatists including Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw According to The Cambridge History of English and American Literature Gilberts lyrical facility and his mastery of metre raised the poetical quality of comic opera to a position that it had never reached before and has not reached since Source - Wikipedia more…

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    "The Pantomime Super to His Mask" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 22 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41315/the-pantomime-super-to-his-mask>.

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