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James Weldon Johnson, ed. (1871–1938). The Book of American Negro Poetry. 1922.

The Rubinstein Staccato Etude

STACCATO! Staccato!

Leggier agitato

In and out does the melody twist—

Unique proposition

Is this composition.

(Alas! for the player who hasn’t the wrist!)

Now in the dominant

Theme ringing prominent,

Bass still repeating its one monotone,

Double notes crying,

Up keyboard go flying,

The change to the minor comes in like a groan.

Without a cessation

A chaste modulation

Hastens adown to subdominant key,

Where melody mellow-like

Singing so ’cello-like

Rises and falls in a wild ecstasy.

Scarce is this finished

When chords all diminished.

Break loose in a patter that comes down like rain,

A pedal-point wonder

Rivaling thunder.

Now all is mad agitation again.

Like laughter jolly

Begins the finale;

Again does the ’cello its tones seem to lend

Diminuendo ad motto crescendo.

Ah! Rubinstein only could make such an end!