Celebrating National Poetry Day
Thursday 7 October 2021
Did you know that our Macready Theatre is named after the famed Shakespearean actor William Macready? You might have spotted his portrait hanging proudly at the back of our auditorium, keeping a close watch over the comings and goings on his stage.
To celebrate National Poetry Day, we are sharing Farewell, Macready, written by Alfred Lord Tennyson in 1851. Tennyson was one of William Charles Macready’s closest friends, and he wrote this verse to mark the occasion of Macready’s retirement from the stage.
TO WC MACREADY
Farewell, Macready, since to-night we part:
Full-handed thunders often have confessed
Thy power, well used to move the public breast.
We thank thee with one voice, and from the heart.
Farewell, Macready, since this night we part.
Go take thine honours home; rank with the best;
Garrick, and statelier Kemble, and the rest,
Who made a nation purer through their art.
Thine is it that the drama did not die.
Nor flicker down to brainless pantomime.
And those gilt gauds men-children swarm to see.
Farewell, Macready; moral, grave, sublime,
Our Shakespeare’s bland and universal eye
Dwells pleased, through twice a hundred years on thee.
Happy National Poetry Day! How are you celebrating?