Prologue for the Silverdale Village Players

EASTER 1922

Neighbours and friends, we come to-night
To tell a tale and shew a sight
That never since our Silverdale
Was first built up among the pale
Old rocks and woods of oak and fir
And heaths of gorse and juniper,
Nor since the sea first left the land
Then took it back with the other hand,
Has been attempted here as now
We have a mind to try and shew.

We call ourselves the Village Players,
And acting is our game — like theirs
Who, half a thousand years ago,
Before the towns began to grow.
Kept the high feasts of their own places
With plays and dances, painted faces
And lovely clothes and lively tunes
And hearts as eager and light as June's
With all the quiver of Springtime in it
And Summer coming every minute.
The world has changed too much since then,
But, if we like, we later men
Can do as much as anyone
Who ever drew from wind and sun,
From earth and heaven, such life as ours.
We never half explore our powers
Of joy, discovery and delight,
We never get the good we might
Out of our spell of being alive:
It does not matter how much we thrive
If, when there are no more days to live,
Beauty has something still to give.
Beauty of colours and shapes and sounds
And words — by these our life abounds
In things worth having, and there's no way
Of getting them that beats a play.
And all the better we shall get them
If for ourselves we try to net them,
And play ourselves instead of paying
Other people to do our playing
As townsfolk do, and spread the tale
Of Silverdale folk for Silverdale.

So listen well to us to-night,
And if we do not do it right
Be judges moved to lenience;
Remember 'tis our first offence,
And bind us over to appear
Before you all another year.
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