“Leopold de Meyer.”



Well—I have seen this musical Fire,
This famous Leopold de Meyer;
I have heard this German wonder,
With his grand melodious thunder—
His sparkling rills of rippling trills,
His delicate runs, loud booming guns,
Sword-clashings and lunges,
Cataract plunges,
Fierce flashing of lances,
Intricate fancies,
Large leaps gigantic,
Like lightning grown frantic.
‘Twas the very madness
Of vinous gladness.
The sense of senses
Danced into frenzies,
Loud-voiced, plebeian,
Shouts Io Pœan!
Huzza for De Meyer!
Finer than fire
Leaps up the flaming
Of his bold aiming.
Over the soul
His mysteries roll
Heaving in surges,
Great Boanorges,
Portly Briareus,
Frowning so serious,
Grappling and struggling
As if thou wert smuggling
Strange fire Promethean,
Or dark water Lethean,
Crowding thy piano
With Jove’s thunder—ah no!
Thou’rt but a mortal
Still at the portal:
For while thou seem’st divinely tolling,
I can see thee vainly smiling,
Living in the crowd’s applause,
Catching eyes that watch thy paws
Chasing one another up
To the finger-board’s tip-top.
In thy beaded champagne draught
Froth and wine alike are quaffed,
Till the stream of music flows
Like Ariel’s voice with Trinculo’s;
Pindar’s silver lyric mingling
With the Broadway sleigh-bells’ jingling.

O! purge the dim the people’s breath
Has breathed against thy mirror fire;
Lose not the ancient heavenly faith
That music is a muse divine.
Let not thy fingers steal the wreath
Of fame that should be only thine.
Give us the dear, the noble strains
The great tone-masters left on earth,
Whose morning radiance still remains
O’er meteors of ephemeral birth:
The music true of heart and soul,
The language of the Seraphim—
Of the unmeasurable whole—
Creation’s inmost prayer and hymn.