James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

April 26

Farewell to Salvini

By Henry Cuyler Bunner (1855–1896)

  • Tomaso Salvini, the Italian tragedian, after a most successful tour in America, was entertained at a farewell dinner in New York on April 26, 1883, on which occasion these lines were read.

  • ALTHOUGH a curtain of the salt sea-mist

    May fall between the actor and our eyes—

    Although he change for dear and softer skies

    These that the sun has yet but coyly kissed—

    Although the voice to which we loved to list

    Fail ere the thunder of our plaudits dies—

    Although he parts from us in gracious wise,

    With grateful memory left his eulogist—

    His best is with us still.
    His perfect art

    Has held us ’twixt a heart-throb and a tear—

    Cheating our souls to passionate belief.

    And in his greatness we have now some part—

    We have been courtiers of the crownless Lear,

    And partners in Othello’s mighty grief.