[Editor: This poem, by “Stargazer”, was published in The Bulletin (Sydney, NSW), 31 January 1917.]
The Leading Lady.
[For The Bulletin.]
Among the leading American film actresses who earn over 300 dollars a week, Miss Betty Boon is conspicuous. Betty is the cleverest of the big apes working for the movies. In many places her comedy is as popular as that of Charlie Chaplin. She courts notoriety with all the devices familiar to expensive picture artistes. — Stage paper.
From rural parts the lady came,
With neither band nor banner;
No fervid agent breathed her name,
In no ecstatic manner
Did wild reporters tell her tale;
She was a simple creature.
But now her photos. are for sale,
And she’s a special feature.
Although her face is plain no scribe
Her beauty will disparage;
She is the first of all her tribe
To own a motor-carriage;
She has a dresser, so they say,
A maid to do her collars;
At her hotel the cost per day
Is close on seven dollars.
She has the best ice-creams to eat
Of ten assorted flavors,
And thirty managers compete
To gain Miss Betty’s favors.
When walking out her health to seek
She’s tended by a flunky;
And three-and-sixty quid a week
She’s paid to ape the monkey.
The Bulletin (Sydney, NSW), 31 January 1917, p. 42 (column 2)
Charlie Chaplin = Charles Spencer Chaplin (1889-1977), a comedic actor; he was born in London (England) in 1889, and died in Switzerland in 1977
See: 1) “Charlie Chaplin: British actor, director, writer, and composer”, Encyclopaedia Britannica
2) “Charlie Chaplin”, Wikipedia
motor-carriage = a car, an automobile
photos. = abbrev of “photographs”
quid = a pound or a dollar; originally “quid” referred to a pound, a unit of British-style currency used in Australia (until it was replaced by the dollar in 1966, when decimal currency was introduced); after the decimalisation of Australia’s currency, it referred to a dollar
scribe = a clerk; a copyist; an author, journalist, writer