Imágenes de páginas

Intensely, from Imagination take

The treasure,

what mine eyes behold see thou,

Even though the Atlantic Ocean roll between.

A silver line, that runs from brow to crown
And in the middle parts the braided hair,
Just serves to show how delicate a soil
The golden harvest grows in; and those eyes,
Soft and capacious as a cloudless sky
Whose azure depth their color emulates,
Must needs be conversant with upward looks,
Prayer's voiceless service; but now, seeking naught
And shunning naught, their own peculiar life
Of motion they renounce, and with the head
Partake its inclination towards earth

In humble grace, and quiet pensiveness
Caught at the point where it stops short of sadness.

Offspring of soul-bewitching Art, make me
Thy confidant! say, whence derived that air
Of calm abstraction? Can the ruling thought
Be with some lover far away, or one

Crossed by misfortune, or of doubted faith?
Inapt conjecture! Childhood here, a moon
Crescent in simple loveliness serene,

Has but approached the gates of womanhood,
Not entered them; her heart is yet unpierced
By the blind Archer-god; her fancy free:
The fount of feeling, if unsought elsewhere,
Will not be found.

Her right hand, as it lies
Across the slender wrist of the left arm
Upon her lap reposing, holds but mark
How slackly, for the absent mind permits
No firmer grasp
- a little wild-flower, joined,
As in a posy, with a few pale ears

Of yellowing corn, the same that overtopped
And in their common birthplace sheltered it
Till they were plucked together; a blue flower
Called by the thrifty husbandman a weed;
But Ceres, in her garland, might have worn
That ornament, unblamed. The floweret, held
In scarcely conscious fingers, was, she knows,
(Her Father told her so,) in youth's gay dawn
Her Mother's favorite; and the orphan Girl,
In her own dawn, a dawn less gay and bright,
Loves it, while there in solitary peace
She sits, for that departed Mother's sake.

Not from a source less sacred is derived
(Surely I do not err) that pensive air
Of calm abstraction through the face diffused
And the whole person.

Words have something told

More than the pencil can, and verily

More than is needed, but the precious Art

Forgives their interference,

Art divine,

That both creates and fixes, in despite

Of Death and Time, the marvels it hath wrought.

Strange contrasts have we in this world of ours! That posture, and the look of filial love

Thinking of past and gone, with what is left
Dearly united, might be swept away
From this fair Portrait's fleshy Archetype,
Even by an innocent fancy's slightest freak
Banished, nor ever, haply, be restored
To their lost place, or meet in harmony
So exquisite; but here do they abide,
Enshrined for ages. Is not then the Art
Godlike, a humble branch of the divine,
In visible quest of immortality,

Stretched forth with trembling hope?-In every realm,

From high Gibraltar to Siberian plains,
Thousands, in each variety of tongue

That Europe knows, would echo this appeal;
One above all, a Monk who waits on God
In the magnific Convent built of yore
To sanctify the Escurial palace. He-
Guiding, from cell to cell and room to room,
A British Painter (eminent for truth
In character, and depth of feeling, shown
By labors that have touched the hearts of kings,
And are endeared to simple cottagers)
Came, in that service, to a glorious work,
Our Lord's Last Supper, beautiful as when first
The appropriate Picture, fresh from Titian's hand,
Graced the Refectory: and there, while both
Stood with eyes fixed upon that masterpiece,
The hoary Father in the Stranger's ear
Breathed out these words: - "Here daily do
we sit,

Thanks given to God for daily bread, and here,
Pondering the mischiefs of these restless times,
And thinking of my Brethren, dead, dispersed,
Or changed and changing, I not seldom gaze
Upon this solemn Company, unmoved
By shock of circumstance, or lapse of
Until I cannot but believe that they -
They are in truth the Substance, we the Shadows."


So spake the mild Jeronymite, his griefs Melting away within him like a dream Ere he had ceased to gaze, perhaps to speak: And I, grown old, but in a happier land, Domestic Portrait! have to verse consigned In thy calm presence those heart-moving words: Words that can soothe, more than they agitate; Whose spirit, like the angel that went down Into Bethesda's pool, with healing virtue Informs the fountain in the human breast Which by the visitation was disturbed.

But why this stealing tear? Companion mute, On thee I look, not sorrowing; fare thee well, My Song's Inspirer, once again farewell!*


* The pile of buildings, composing the palace and convent of San Lorenzo, has, in common usage, lost its proper name in that of the Escurial, a village at the foot of the hill upon which the splendid edifice, built by Philip the Second, stands. It need scarcely be added that Wilkie is the painter alluded to.



AMONG a grave fraternity of Monks,

For One, but surely not for One alone,
Triumphs, in that great work, the Painter's skill,
Humbling the body, to exalt the soul;
Yet representing, amid wreck and wrong
And dissolution and decay, the warm
And breathing life of flesh, as if already
Clothed with impassive majesty, and graced
With no mean earnest of a heritage
Assigned to it in future worlds. Thou, too,
With thy memorial flower, meek Portraiture!
From whose serene companionship I passed,
Pursued by thoughts that haunt me still; thou

Though but a simple object, into light

Called forth by those affections that endear
The private hearth; though keeping thy sole seat
In singleness, and little tried by time,
Creation, as it were, of yesterday
With a congenial function art endued
For each and all of us, together joined
In course of nature under a low roof
By charities and duties that proceed
Out of the bosom of a wiser vow.
To a like salutary sense of awe

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