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Pallid, in black array he strode
And marked the hush beneath his feet,
The air breathed perfume out and heat,
The hall with russet lustre glowed. —

Gossamer-like before him shed.
In muslin, silk and lace arrayed,
Half in the light and half in shade,
Ladies in semi-circle spread.

Billows of dark and golden hair;
These scarlet lips, these eyes on fire!
See, silhouettes of black attire,
See, the lorgnettes with gloating stare!

His violin with dazing spell
Grips the hushed air in deep refrains,
From the piano gentle strains
In waves of joy and potence fell. —

His master, whose renown is o'er
Astray within some passage quakes,
In sudden dread within him wakes
His debut in the days of yore.

Critics to shun was his desire,
Their infamy and their applause,
Their hatred with its gaping jaws,
Whose will drags beauty in the mire.