By George Barlow

Imagination makes the actor’s art:
The eager brain, the emotional swift heart
That realizes all;
The power to live and move and have one’s being
In that same sphere the audience now is seeing,
Whether it be bright room, or haunted hall.

Imagination, everything on this
Depends: the power to feel through kiss on kiss
The living passion leap;
The power to magnetise oneself the first;
To feel, to be , most blessed or accurst;
The power of rapturous joy, the power to weep:

The power to feel within some quiet room
Ghost after ghost, if need be, fill the gloom
With shadowy shapes and sound;

The power to love as if a life depended
On winning sweet lips ere the evening ended:
This gift we seek. How seldom is it found!

Then how the power speeds forth and holds each heart
Recipient and responsive to its Art,
Art being life indeed.
How the spectators hush their souls to hear,
Yea, listen with the spirit’s intense ear,
When a real genius-spirit takes the lead.

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