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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Theodore Wratislaw b. 1871

The Music-Hall

THE CURTAIN on the grouping dancers falls,

The heaven of color has vanished from our eyes;

Stirred in our seats we wait with vague surmise

What haply comes that pleases or that palls.

Touched on the stand the thrice-struck baton calls,

Once more I watch the unfolding curtain rise,

I hear the exultant violins premise

The well-known tune that thrills me and enthralls.

Then trembling in my joy I see you flash

Before the footlights to the cymbals’ clash,

With laughing lips, swift feet, and brilliant glance,

You, fair as heaven and as a rainbow bright,

You, queen of song and empress of the dance,

Flower of mine eyes, my love, my heart’s delight!