Cool and Hot (with thanks to Ralf Wilmes)

Complete and total, sure control,
Is led by mind that is his soul
Who has his end within his sight
And aims to do what’s fully right.
Withdrawing out of energy
By careful, measured, slow degree,
He utilizes all his force
To send him onward on his course.

A sudden, unexpected curve—
A tickle on his steady nerve!
A steep long drop, a steeper rise,
And there is laughter in his eyes!
And then it builds; the end is near;
And still the master straight does steer,
But faster yet and faster still
Till o’er the top and into light
He dazzles on the golden height!

We heard him pass; we saw him not;
Rachmaninoff was cool, and hot!

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