Before the listening world behold him stand;
The warm air trembles with his passionate play;
Their cheers shower round him like the ocean spray
Round one who waits upon the stormy strand.
Their smiles, sighs, tears all are at his command;
And now they hear the trump of judgment-day,
And now one silver note to heaven doth stray
And fluttering fall upon the golden sand.
But like the murmur of the distant sea
Their loud applause, and far off, faint, and weak
Sounds his own music to him, wild and free—
Far from the soul of music that doth speak
In wordless wail and lyric ecstasy
From that good viol prest against his cheek.
Richard Watson Gilder, The Poems of Richard Watson Gilder, 1908