Vachel Lindsay in 1912
Mae Marsh, Motion Picture Actress
In “Man’s Genesis,” “The Wild Girl of the Sierras,” “The Wharf Rat,” “A Girl of the Paris Streets,” etc.
The arts are old, old as the stones
From which man carved the sphinx austere.
Deep are the days the old arts bring:
Ten thousand years of yesteryear.
She is madonna in an art
As wild and young as her sweet eyes:
A frail dew flower from this hot lamp
That is today’s divine surprise.
Despite raw lights and gloating mobs
She is not seared: a picture still:
Rare silk the fine director’s hand
May weave for magic if he will.
When ancient films have crumbled like
Papyrus rolls of Egypt’s day,
Let the dust speak: “Her pride was high,
All but the artist hid away:
“Kin to the myriad artist clan
Since time began, whose work is dear.”
The deep new ages come with her,
Tomorrow’s years of yesteryear.
[poem from The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems (New York: Macmillan, 1917)]