First the merest whisper skimming the earth like a swallow before the storm --
A murmur and it's away sowing the poisoned seed as it goes,
Someone picks it up and --
piano piano --
insinuates it into your ear.
the damage is done.
It spawns, creeps and crawls and spread and multiplies and then --
from mouth to mouth it goes like the very Devil.
Suddenly, no one knows how, you see Calumny raising its head
hissing, puffing and swelling before your very eyes.
It takes wing, extending its flight in ever-widening circles, swooping and swirling,
drawing in a bit here and a bit there, sweeping everything before it,
and breaks forth at last like a thunder clap to become, thanks be to Heaven, the general cry,
a public crescendo, a chorus universal of hate, rage and condemnation.
Who the deuce can resist it?"
The Barber of Seville G. Rossini