Painting And Sculpture

The sinful painter drapes his goddess warm,
Because she still is naked, being drest;
The godlike sculptor will not so deform
Beauty, which bones and flesh enough invest.

by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The Spider as an Artist

The Spider as an Artist
Has never been employed -
Though his surpassing Merit
Is freely certified

By every Broom and Bridget
Throughout a Christian Land -
Neglected Son of Genius
I take thee by the Hand -

by Emily Dickinson.

Epigram Addressed To An Artist

DEAR ———, I'll gie ye some advice,
You'll tak it no uncivil:
You shouldna paint at angels mair,
But try and paint the devil.


To paint an Angel's kittle wark,
Wi' Nick, there's little danger:
You'll easy draw a lang-kent face,
But no sae weel a stranger.—R. B.

by Robert Burns.

London Types: The Artist Muses At His Ease

The Artist muses at his ease,
Contented that his work is done,
And smiling-smiling!-as he sees
His crowd collecting, one by one.
Alas! his travail's but begun!
None, none can keep the years in line,
And what to Ninety-Eight is fun
May raise the gorge of Ninety-Nine!

by William Ernest Henley.

Celestial Painting (Sunset At Renvyle)

When painters leave this world, we grieve
For the hand that will work no more,
But who can say that they rest alway
On that still celestial shore?
No! No! they choose from the rainbow hues,
And winging from Paradise,
They come to paint, now bold now faint,
The tones of our sunset skies.
When I see them there I can almost swear
That grey is from Whistler's brain!
That crimson flush was Turner's brush!
And the gold is Claude Lorraine.

by William Percy French.

Before A Painting By Ayvasovsky

Rising from ocean, billows uncontrolled,
With heavy flux and reflux, beating high,
Towered up like mountains, roaring terribly;
The wild storm blew with wind gusts manifold—
A mad, tempestuous race
Through endless, boundless space.

“Halt!” cried the aged wizard, brush in hand,
To the excited elements; and lo!
Obedient to the voice of genius, now
The dark waves, in the tempest’s fury grand,
Upon the canvas, see!
Stand still eternally!

by Hovhannes Toumanian.

Why do you subdue yourself in golds and purples?
Why do you dim yourself with folded silks?
Do you not see that I can buy brocades in any draper’s shop,
And that I am choked in the twilight of all these colours.
How pale you would be, and startling,
How quiet;
But your curves would spring upward
Like a clear jet of flung water,
You would quiver like a shot-up spray of water,
You would waver, and relapse, and tremble.
And I too should tremble,
Watching.


Murex-dyes and tinsel—
And yet I think I could bear your beauty unshaded.

by Amy Lowell.

To A Poet, Painter And Musician

Three Muses one day
Had a serious fray,
Concerning a youth who had wandered astray,
And fast up Parnassus was taking his way.
They each urged a claim
Each gave him her name,
And each vowed to crown him with chaplets of fame.
Frown followed retort,
Till to cut it all short,
They decided to carry the case up to court.
Appllo averred,
That from all he had heard,
The claim of exclusiveness seemed quite absurd;
And he gave his decree
That this soul should be free
For the 'joint occupancy' of the whole three.

by Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta.

The Artist. (Sonnet I.)

Nothing the greatest artist can conceive
That every marble block doth not confine
Within itself; and only its design
The hand that follows intellect can achieve.
The ill I flee, the good that I believe,
In thee, fair lady, lofty and divine,
Thus hidden lie; and so that death be mine
Art, of desired success, doth me bereave.
Love is not guilty, then, nor thy fair face,
Nor fortune, cruelty, nor great disdain,
Of my disgrace, nor chance, nor destiny,
If in thy heart both death and love find place
At the same time, and if my humble brain,
Burning, can nothing draw but death from thee.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Before A Painting

I knew not who had wrought with skill so fine
What I beheld; nor by what laws of art
He had created life and love and heart
On canvas, from mere color, curve and line.
Silent I stood and made no move or sign;
Not with the crowd, but reverently apart;
Nor felt the power my rooted limbs to start,
But mutely gazed upon that face divine.

And over me the sense of beauty fell,
As music over a raptured listener to
The deep-voiced organ breathing out a hymn;
Or as on one who kneels, his beads to tell,
There falls the aureate glory filtered through
The windows in some old cathedral dim.

by James Weldon Johnson.

Sonnet 83: I Never Saw That You Did Painting Need

I never saw that you did painting need,
And therefore to your fair no painting set;
I found, or thought I found, you did exceed
That barren tender of a poet's debt;
And therefore have I slept in your report,
That you yourself being extant well might show
How far a modern quill doth come too short,
Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow.
This silence for my sin you did impute,
Which shall be most my glory, being dumb,
For I impair not beauty, being mute,
When others would give life and bring a tomb.
There lives more life in one of your fair eyes,
Than both your poets can in praise devise.

by William Shakespeare.

On Tasso In Prison (Eugène Delacroix’s Painting)

The poet in his cell, unkempt and sick,
who crushes underfoot a manuscript,
measures, with a gaze that horror has inflamed,
the stair of madness where his soul was maimed.
The intoxicating laughter that fills his prison
with the absurd and the strange, swamps his reason.
Doubt surrounds him, and ridiculous fear,
hideous and multiform, circles near.
That genius pent up in a foul sty,
those spectres, those grimaces, the cries,
whirling, in a swarm, about his hair,
that dreamer, whom his lodging’s terrors bare,
such are your emblems, Soul, singer of songs obscure,
whom Reality suffocates behind four walls!

by Charles Baudelaire.

An Artist Of The Beautiful

GEORGE FULLER

Haunted of Beauty, like the marvellous youth
Who sang Saint Agnes' Eve! How passing fair
Her shapes took color in thy homestead air!
How on thy canvas even her dreams were truth!
Magician! who from commonest elements
Called up divine ideals, clothed upon
By mystic lights soft blending into one
Womanly grace and child-like innocence.
Teacher I thy lesson was not given in vain.
Beauty is goodness; ugliness is sin;
Art's place is sacred: nothing foul therein
May crawl or tread with bestial feet profane.
If rightly choosing is the painter's test,
Thy choice, O master, ever was the best.

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

Sonnet 24: “mine Eye Hath Played The Painter And Hath Stelled…”

Mine eye hath played the painter and hath stelled,
Thy beauty's form in table of my heart,
My body is the frame wherein 'tis held,
And perspective it is best painter's art.
For through the painter must you see his skill,
To find where your true image pictured lies,
Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still,
That hath his windows glazed with thine eyes:
Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done,
Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me
Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee;
Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art,
They draw but what they see, know not the heart.

by William Shakespeare.

The Painter On Silk

There was a man
Who made his living
By painting roses
Upon silk.

He sat in an upper chamber
And painted,
And the noises of the street
Meant nothing to him.

When he heard bugles, and fifes, and drums,
He thought of red, and yellow, and white roses
Bursting in the sunshine,
And smiled as he worked.

He thought only of roses,
And silk.
When he could get no more silk
He stopped painting
And only thought
Of roses.

The day the conquerors
Entered the city,
The old man
Lay dying.
He heard the bugles and drums,
And wished he could paint the roses
Bursting into sound.

by Amy Lowell.

Sonnet 24: Mine Eye Hath Played The Painter And Hath Stelled

Mine eye hath played the painter and hath stelled
Thy beauty's form in table of my heart;
My body is the frame wherein 'tis held,
And perspective it is best painter's art.
For through the painter must you see his skill
To find where your true image pictured lies,
Which in my bosom's shop is hanging still,
That hath his windows glazèd with thine eyes.
Now see what good turns eyes for eyes have done:
Mine eyes have drawn thy shape, and thine for me
Are windows to my breast, where-through the sun
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee.
Yet eyes this cunning want to grace their art:
They draw but what they see, know not the heart.

by William Shakespeare.

The Moon Is A Painter

He coveted her portrait.
He toiled as she grew gay.
She loved to see him labor
In that devoted way.

And in the end it pleased her,
But bowed him more with care.
Her rose-smile showed so plainly,
Her soul-smile was not there.

That night he groped without a lamp
To find a cloak, a book,
And on the vexing portrait
By moonrise chanced to look.

The color-scheme was out of key,
The maiden rose-smile faint,
But through the blessed darkness
She gleamed, his friendly saint.

The comrade, white, immortal,
His bride, and more than bride—
The citizen, the sage of mind,
For whom he lived and died.

by Vachel Lindsay.

To Cole, The Painter, Departing For Europe

A SONNET.


Thine eyes shall see the light of distant skies:
Yet, COLE! thy heart shall bear to Europe's strand
A living image of thy native land,
Such as on thine own glorious canvas lies;
Lone lakes--savannas where the bison roves--
Rocks rich with summer garlands--solemn streams--
Skies, where the desert eagle wheels and screams--
Spring bloom and autumn blaze of boundless groves.
Fair scenes shall greet thee where thou goest--fair,
But different--everywhere the trace of men,
Paths, homes, graves, ruins, from the lowest glen
To where life shrinks from the fierce Alpine air,
Gaze on them, till the tears shall dim thy sight,
But keep that earlier, wilder image bright.

by William Cullen Bryant.

A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man

Are you not weary of ardent ways,
Lure of the fallen seraphim?
Tell no more of enchanted days.

Your eyes have set man's heart ablaze
And you have had your will of him.
Are you not weary of ardent ways?

Above the flame the smoke of praise
Goes up from ocean rim to rim.
Tell no more of enchanted days.

Our broken cries and mournful lays
Rise in one eucharistic hymn.
Are you not weary of ardent ways?

While sacrificing hands upraise
The chalice flowing to the brim,
Tell no more of enchanted days.

And still you hold our longing gaze
With languorous look and lavish limb!
Are you not weary of ardent ways?
Tell no more of enchanted days.

by James Joyce.

Forgotten between the leaves of an old book—
almost a hundred years old—
I found an unsigned watercolor.
It must have been the work of a powerful artist.
Its title: "Representation of Love."

"...love of extreme sensualists" would have been more to the point.

Because it became clear as you looked at the work
(it was easy to see what the artist had in mind)
that the young man in the painting
was not designated for those
who love in ways that are more or less healthy,
inside the bounds of what is clearly permissible—
with his deep chestnut eyes,
the rare beauty of his face,
the beauty of anomalous charm,
with those ideal lips that bring
sensual delight to the body loved,
those ideal limbs shaped for beds
that common morality calls shameless.

by Constantine P. Cavafy.

William Keith, Artist

We read that under the far Indian skies,
The dusk magician with his magic wand
Calls from the arid and unseeded sand,
Whereon the shadowless sun’s hot fervor lies,
A perfect tree before our wondering eyes:
First a green shoot uplifts a tender hand,
Then trunk and spreading foliage expand
To flower and fruit-and then it drops and dies.

But he-our wizard of the tinted brush-
In God’s diviner necromancy skilled,
Gives to our vision Earth, in grandeur free!
Rose-gold of dawn, the evening’s purple hush,
The Druid-woods with Nature’s worship filled,
The mountains and the everlasting sea.
Upon the heights beyond my reach
You drink from Art’s immortal spring,
And vision dreams denied my speech,
And paint the songs I may not sing.

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

The Artist And The Alderman

'Give us gardens!' said the artist,
'Blatant brick and soulless stone,
Never built a noble city.
Man lives not by bread alone,
Beauty brings, for our enrichment,
Smiling lawn and spreading tree.'
'Bricks and mortar,' said the alderman,
'Bring in more £.s.d.'

As acid and alkali,
Water and fire,
The good and the evil,
Discension inspire;
As the cat and the dog,
And the axe and the tree,
So artists and aldermen
Never agree.

Said the artist: 'Give us gardens!
So to save the civic soul,
Draw aesthetic men about you
Ere base ideals take control.
Let artistic minds advise you,
Lest you pay a shameful price.'
'And who,' inquired the alderman,
'Needs any such advice?'

As the cop and the crook,
As the fool and the sage,
As light and the darkness,
Hot youth and old age
As the lamb and the lion,
The ant and the bee,
So artists and aldermen,
Never agree.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

The Pack-Saddle

A FAMOUS painter, jealous of his wife;
Whose charms he valued more than fame or life,
When going on a journey used his art,
To paint an ASS upon a certain part,
(Umbilical, 'tis said) and like a seal:
Impressive token, nothing thence to steal.

A BROTHER brush, enamoured of the dame;
Now took advantage, and declared his flame:
The Ass effaced, but God knows how 'twas done;
Another soon howe'er he had begun,
And finished well, upon the very spot;
In painting, few more praises ever got;
But want of recollection made him place
A saddle, where before he none could trace.

THE husband, when returned, desired to look
At what he drew, when leave he lately took.
Yes, see my dear, the wily wife replied,
The Ass is witness, faithful I abide.
Zounds! said the painter, when he got a sight,--
What!--you'd persuade me ev'ry thing is right?
I wish the witness you display so well,
And him who saddled it, were both in Hell.

by Jean De La Fontaine.

By The Fireside : Gaspar Becerra

By his evening fire the artist
Pondered o'er his secret shame;
Baffled, weary, and disheartened,
Still he mused, and dreamed of fame.

'T was an image of the Virgin
That had tasked his utmost skill;
But, alas! his fair ideal
Vanished and escaped him still.

From a distant Eastern island
Had the precious wood been brought
Day and night the anxious master
At his toil untiring wrought;

Till, discouraged and desponding,
Sat he now in shadows deep,
And the day's humiliation
Found oblivion in sleep.

Then a voice cried, 'Rise, O master!
From the burning brand of oak
Shape the thought that stirs within thee!'
And the startled artist woke,--

Woke, and from the smoking embers
Seized and quenched the glowing wood;
And therefrom he carved an image,
And he saw that it was good.

O thou sculptor, painter, poet!
Take this lesson to thy heart:
That is best which lieth nearest;
Shape from that thy work of art.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

One evening there came into his soul the desire to fashion an image of The Pleasure that abideth for a Moment. And he went forth into the world to look for bronze. For he could only think in bronze.

But all the bronze of the whole world had disappeared, nor anywhere in the whole world was there any bronze to be found, save only the bronze of the image of The Sorrow that endureth for Ever.

Now this image he had himself, and with his own hands, fashioned, and had set it on the tomb of the one thing he had loved in life. On the tomb of the dead thing he had most loved had he set this image of his own fashioning, that it might serve as a sign of the love of man that dieth not, and a symbol of the sorrow of man that endureth for ever. And in the whole world there was no other bronze save the bronze of this image.

And he took the image he had fashioned, and set it in a great furnace, and gave it to the fire.

And out of the bronze of the image of The Sorrow that endureth for Ever he fashioned an image of The Pleasure that abideth for a Moment.

by Oscar Wilde.

The Tears Of A Painter

Apelles, hearing that his boy
Had just expired--his only joy!
Although the sight with anguish tore him,
Bade place his dear remains before him.
He seized his brush, his colours spread;
And--'Oh! my child, accept,'--he said,
'('Tis all that I can now bestow,)
This tribute of a father's woe!'
Then, faithful to the twofold part,
Both of his feelings and his art,
He closed his eyes with tender care,
And form'd at once a fellow pair.
His brow with amber locks beset,
And lips he drew not livid yet;
And shaded all that he had done
To a just image of his son.
Thus far is well. But view again
The cause of thy paternal pain!
Thy melancholy task fulfil!
It needs the last, last touches still.
Again his pencil's powers he tries,
For on his lips a smile he spies:
And still his cheek unfaded shows
The deepest damask of the rose.
Then, heedful to the finish’d whole,
With fondest eagerness he stole,
Till scarce himself distinctly knew
The cherub copied from the true.
Now, painter, cease! Thy task is done.
Long lives this image of thy son;
Nor short-lived shall thy glory prove
Or of thy labour or thy love.

by William Cowper.

The Lady and the Painter

SHE: Yet womanhood you reverence,
So you profess!

HE: With heart and soul.

SHE: Of which fact this is evidence!
To help Art-study,- for some dole
Of certain wretched shillings,- you
Induce a woman- virgin too-
To strip and stand stark naked?

HE: True.

SHE: Nor feel you so degrade her?

HE: What
- (Excuse the interruption)- clings
Half-savage-like around your hat?

SHE: Ah, do they please you? Wild-bird-wings
Next season,- Paris-prints assert,-
We must go feathered to the skirt:
My modiste keeps on the alert.
Owls, hawks, jays- swallows most approve ...

HE: Dare I speak plainly?

SHE: Oh, I trust!

HE: Then, Lady Blanche, it less would move
In heart and soul of me disgust
Did you strip off those spoils you wear,
And stand- for thanks, not shillings- bare,
To help Art like my Model there.
She well knew what absolved her- praise
In me for God's surpassing good,
Who granted to my reverent gaze
A type of purest womanhood.
You clothed with murder of His best
Of harmless beings- stand the test!
What is it you know?

SHE: That you jest!

by Robert Browning.

Were I A Skilful Painter

Were I a skilful painter,
My pencil, not my pen,
Should try to teach thee hope and fear,
And who would blame me then?-
Fear of the tide of darkness
That floweth fast behind,
And hope to make thee journey on
In the journey of the mind.

Were I a skilful painter,
What should I paint for thee?-
A tiny spring-bud peeping out
From a withered wintry tree;
The warm blue sky of summer
O'er jagged ice and snow,
And water hurrying gladsome out
From a cavern down below;

The dim light of a beacon
Upon a stormy sea,
Where a lonely ship to windward beats
For life and liberty;
A watery sun-ray gleaming
Athwart a sullen cloud
And falling on some grassy flower
The rain had earthward bowed;

Morn peeping o'er a mountain,
In ambush for the dark,
And a traveller in the vale below
Rejoicing like a lark;
A taper nearly vanished
Amid the dawning gray,
And a maiden lifting up her head,
And lo, the coming day!

I am no skilful painter;
Let who will blame me then
That I would teach thee hope and fear
With my plain-talking pen!-
Fear of the tide of darkness
That floweth fast behind,
And hope to make thee journey on
In the journey of the mind.

by George MacDonald.

The National Paintings

Awake,ye forms of verse divine!
Painting! descend on canvas wing,-
And hover o'er my head, Design!
Your son, your glorious son, I sing;
At Trumbull's name I break my sloth,
To load him with poetic riches:
The Titian of a table-cloth!
The Guido of a pair of breeches!

Come, star-eyed maid, Equality!
In thine adorer's praise I revel;
Who brings, so fierce his love to thee,
All forms and faces to a level:
Old, young, great, small, the grave, the gay,
Each man might swear the next his brother,
And there they stand in dread array,
To fire their votes at one another.

How bright their buttons shine! how straight
Their coat-flaps fall in plaited grace!
How smooth the hair on every pate!
How vacant each immortal face!
And then the tints, the shade, the flush,
(I wrong them with a strain too humble),
Not mighty Sherred's strength of brush
Can match thy glowing hues, my Trumbull!

Go on, great painter! dare be dull-
No longer after Nature dangle;
Call rectilinear beautiful;
Find grace and freedom in an angle;
Pour on the red, the green, the yellow,
'Paint till a horse may mire upon it,'
And, while I 've strength to write or bellow,
I 'll sound your praises in a sonnet.

by Joseph Rodman Drake.

Twilight Thoughts

The God of the day has vanished,
The light from the hills has fled,
And the hand of an unseen artist
Is painting the west all red.
All threaded with gold and crimson,
And burnished with amber dye,
And tipped with purple shadows,
The glory flameth high.

Fair, beautiful world of ours!
Fair, beautiful world, but oh,
How darkened by pain and sorrow,
How blackened by sin and woe.
The splendour pales in the heavens
And dies in a golden gleam,
And alone in the hush of twilight,
I sit, in a chequered dream.

I think of the souls that are straying,
In the shadows as black as the night,
Of hands that are groping blindly
In search of a shining light;
Of hearts that are mutely crying,
And praying for just one ray,
To lead them out of the shadows
Into the better way.

And I think of the Father's children
Who are trying to walk alone,
Who have dropped the hand of the Parent,
And wander in ways unknown.
Oh, the paths are rough and thorny,
And I know they cannot stand.
They will faint and fall by the wayside,
Unguarded by God's right hand.

And I think of the souls that are yearning
To folow the good and true;
They are striving to live unsullied,
Yet I know not what to do.
And I wonder when God, the Master,
Shall end this weary strife,
And lead us out of the shadows
Into the deathless life.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

In summer, hot, and winter, snow-clad,
In days you bury, wed, or feast at home,
I wait for easy, never ever heard
Ringing - to free myself of devastating boredom.

It has arisen! With attention, strong,
I wait - to understand, pin down, and kill that.
Before my waiting, such resolved and long,
It stretches thin and faintly seemed a thread.

Is it a sea wind? Are the Eden's birds,
Singing midst leaves? Is time detained here, quit?
Or, may be, apple-trees of spring have fully lost
Their snowy veil. Is this the angel's flight?

Time passes by, it's bearing the world.
Light, sounds, movement - immensely expand,
The fervent past looks at the future, bold.
There's no present. And the pitiful is dead.

And on the threshold of the birth, at last,
Of a new soul, of unknown strengths,
A curse strikes down soul, like sky blasts:
Creative reason put it to its death.

And I shut up in a cage, such small and cold,
The airy, kind and free of fetters bird,
The bird that flew to take away my death,
The bird that flew to save my soul's breath.

Here is my cage - a steel and heavy net,
It seems the golden in the sunset's eve,
Here is my bird - once gay, and now sad,
Swinging and singing by the window grieve.

Its wing are cut, its songs are learnt by heart.
Have any wish to be here detained?
You like these songs. But I, after my plight,
Wait for the new, and feel boredom again.

by Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok.

To S. M. A Young African Painter, On Seeing His Works

TO show the lab'ring bosom's deep intent,
And thought in living characters to paint,
When first thy pencil did those beauties give,
And breathing figures learnt from thee to live,
How did those prospects give my soul delight,
A new creation rushing on my sight?
Still, wond'rous youth! each noble path pursue,
On deathless glories fix thine ardent view:
Still may the painter's and the poet's fire
To aid thy pencil, and thy verse conspire!
And may the charms of each seraphic theme
Conduct thy footsteps to immortal fame!
High to the blissful wonders of the skies
Elate thy soul, and raise thy wishful eyes.
Thrice happy, when exalted to survey
That splendid city, crown'd with endless day,
Whose twice six gates on radiant hinges ring:
Celestial Salem blooms in endless spring.
Calm and serene thy moments glide along,
And may the muse inspire each future song!
Still, with the sweets of contemplation bless'd,
May peace with balmy wings your soul invest!
But when these shades of time are chas'd away,
And darkness ends in everlasting day,
On what seraphic pinions shall we move,
And view the landscapes in the realms above?
There shall thy tongue in heav'nly murmurs flow,
And there my muse with heav'nly transport glow:
No more to tell of Damon's tender sighs,
Or rising radiance of Aurora's eyes,
For nobler themes demand a nobler strain,
And purer language on th' ethereal plain.
Cease, gentle muse! the solemn gloom of night
Now seals the fair creation from my sight.

by Phillis Wheatley.

YOU tell me these great lords have raised up Art?
I say they have degraded it. Look you,
When ever did they let the Poet sing,
The Painter paint, the Sculptor hew and cast,
The Music raise her heavenly voice, except
To praise them and their wretched rule o'er men?
Behold our English poets that were poor
Since these great lords were rich and held the state:
Behold the glories of the German land,
Poets, Musicians, driven, like them, to death
Unless they'd tune their spirits' harps to play
Drawing-room pieces for the chattering fools
Who aped the taste for Art or for a leer.
I say, no Art was ever noble yet,
Noble and high, the speech of godlike men,
When fetters bound it, be they gold or flowers.
All that is noblest, highest, greatest, best,
Comes from the Galilean peasant's hut, comes from
The Stratford village, the Ayrshire plough, the shop
That gave us Chaucer, the humble Milton's trade —
Bach's, Mozart's, great Beethoven's — and these are they
Who knew the People, being what they knew!
Wherefore, if in the future years no strain,
No picture of earth's glory like to what
Your Artists raised for that small clique or this
Of supercilious imbecilities —
O if no better demi-gods of Art
Can rise save those whose barbarous tinsel yet
Makes hideous all the beauty of old homes —
Then let us seek the comforts of despair
In democratic efforts dead and gone;
Weep with Pheideian Athens, sigh an hour
With Raffaelle's Florence, beat the head and breast
O'er Shakspere's England that from Milton's took
In lips the name that leaped from lead and flame
From out her heart against the Spanish guns!

by Francis William Lauderdale Adams.

A widow by her landlord was oppressed
To pay at once her backward coin of rent;
For he, cursed by the wealth that should have blessed,
Forgot that he, too, in a tenement
Dwelt, with unpaid arrear; and surely he,
More than a widow, lived in poverty.

For they alone are rich who have obtained
The love of God, for which no gold can pay.
Blind to the peaceful joy he might have gained,
The craven landlord, on a winter's day
That pierced with cold and wind-thrust snow and sleet,
Drove forth the widow to the roofless street.

Her clinging son, with elfin prattle, sought
To charm away her grief; yet, in his heart,
By the indignant pencil of his thought,
The shameful scene was drawn in every part.
There lived the widow's tears, and hard and base
Stood out the likeness of the landlord's face.

Like breaking waves, year after year rolled up,
And in their tide the widow's son became
A truthful painter, in whose life's bright cup
A thankful world dissolved the pearl of fame.
Then, with his brush, which spoke in every hue,
The picture in his heart he strongly drew.

Near to the landlord's home the painting hung,
As at his threshold, in a public place;
To view it came the townsfolk, old and young,
And said, 'This is our neighbor's ruthless face,
And this the cruel deed that he has done
To the poor widow and her artist son.'

The landlord brought temptations coined and vast,
And would have given half the wealthy town,
To lay the brush-raised specter of his past:
No gold availed; the specter would not down;
But haunted him thereafter till he died,
In looks and words and deeds, on every side.

by Henry Abbey.

To The Painter Preparing To Draw M.M.H.

Be not too forward, painter; 'tis
More for thy fame, and art, to miss
All other faces, than come near
The Lady, that expecteth here.
Be wise, and think it less disgrace
To draw an angel, than her face;
For in such forms, who is so wise
To tell thee where thy error lies?
But since all beauty (that is known)
Is in her virgin sweetness one,
How can it be, that painting her
But every look should make thee err?
But thou art resolute I see;
Yet let my fancy walk with thee:
Compose a ground more dark and sad,
Than that the early Chaos had,
And show, to the whole sex's shame,
Beauty was darkness till she came.
Then paint her eyes, whose active light
Shall make the former shadows bright,
And with their every beam supply
New day, to draw her picture by.
Now, if thou wilt complete the face,
A wonder paint in every place.
Beneath these, for her fair neck's sake,
White as the Paphian Turtles, make
A pillar, whose smooth base doth show
It self lost in a mount of snow;
Her breast, the house of chaste desire,
Cold, but increasing others' fire.
But how I lose (instructing thee)
Thy pencil, and my poetry!
For when thou hast expressed all art,
As high as truth, in every part,
She can resemble at the best,
One, in her beauty's silence dressed,
Where thou, like a dull looker-on,
Art lost, and all thy art undone;
For if she speak, new wonders rise
From her teeth, chin, lip, and eyes;
So far above that excellent
Did take thee first, thou should repent
To have begun, and lose i'th'end
Thy eyes with wonder how to mend.
At such a loss, here's all thy choice,
Leave off, or paint her with a voice.

by James Shirley.

Brother artist, help me; come!
Artists are a maimed band:
I have words but not a hand;
Thou hast hands though thou art dumb.

Had I thine, when words did fail-
Vassal-words their hasting chief,
On the white awaiting leaf
Shapes of power should tell the tale.

Had I hers of music-might,
I would shake the air with storm
Till the red clouds trailed enorm
Boreal dances through the night.

Had I his whose foresight rare
Piles the stones with lordliest art,
From the quarry of my heart
Love should climb a heavenly stair!

Had I his whose wooing slow
Wins the marble's hidden child,
Out in passion undefiled
Stood my Psyche, white as snow!

Maimed, a little help I pray;
Words suffice not for my end;
Let thy hand obey thy friend,
Say for me what I would say.

Draw me, on an arid plain
With hoar-headed mountains nigh,
Under a clear morning sky
Telling of a night of rain,

Huge and half-shaped, like a block
Chosen for sarcophagus
By a Pharaoh glorious,
One rude solitary rock.

Cleave it down along the ridge
With a fissure yawning deep
To the heart of the hard heap,
Like the rent of riving wedge.

Through the cleft let hands appear,
Upward pointed with pressed palms
As if raised in silent psalms
For salvation come anear.

Turn thee now-'tis almost done!-
To the near horizon's verge:
Make the smallest arc emerge
Of the forehead of the sun.

One thing more-I ask too much!-
From a brow which hope makes brave
Sweep the shadow of the grave
With a single golden touch.

Thanks, dear painter; that is all.
If thy picture one day should
Need some words to make it good,
I am ready to thy call.

by George MacDonald.

The Strong Heroic Line

FRIENDS of the Muse, to you of right belong
The first staid footsteps of my square-toed song;
Full well I know the strong heroic line
Has lost its fashion since I made it mine;
But there are tricks old singers will not learn,
And this grave measure still must serve my turn.
So the old bird resumes the selfsame note
His first young summer wakened in his throat;
The selfsame tune the old canary sings,
And all unchanged the bobolink’s carol rings;
When the tired songsters of the day are still
The thrush repeats his long-remembered trill;
Age alters not the crow’s persistent caw,
The Yankee’s “Haow,” the stammering Briton’s “Haw;”
And so the hand that takes the lyre for you
Plays the old tune on strings that once were new.
Nor let the rhymester of the hour deride
The straight-backed measure with its stately stride:
It gave the mighty voice of Dryden scope;
It sheathed the steel-bright epigrams of Pope;
In Goldsmith’s verse it learned a sweeter strain;
Byron and Campbell wore its clanking chain;
I smile to listen while the critic’s scorn
Flouts the proud purple kings have nobly worn;
Bid each new rhymer try his dainty skill
And mould his frozen phrases as he will;
We thank the artist for his neat device;
The shape is pleasing, though the stuff is ice.

Fashions will change—the new costume allures,
Unfading still the better type endures;
While the slashed doublet of the cavalier
Gave the old knight the pomp of chanticleer,
Our last-hatched dandy with his glass and stick
Recalls the semblance of a new-born chick;
(To match the model he is aiming at
He ought to wear an eggshell for a hat).
He ought to wear an eggshell for a hat).
Which of these objects would a painter choose,
And which Velasquez or Van Dyck refuse?

by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

But The Artist...

But the artist sat the nude model on the table and moved her legs apart. The girl hardly resisted and merely covered her face with her hands.

Amonova and Strakhova said that first the girl should have been taken off to the bathroom and washed between her legs, as any whiff of such an aroma was simply repulsive.
The girl wanted to jump up but the artist held her back and asked her to take no notice and sit there, just as he had placed her. The girl, not knowing what she was supposed to do, sat back down again.

The artist and his female colleagues took their respective seats and began sketching the nude model. Petrova said that the nude model was a very seductive woman, but Strakhova and Amonova said that she was rather plump and indecent.

Zolotogromov said that this was what made her seductive, but Strakhova said that this was simply repulsive, and not at all seductive.

-- Look -- said Strakhova -- ugh! It's pouring out of her on to the table cloth. What is there seductive about that, when I can sniff the smell off her from here.

Petrova said that this only showed her feminine strength. Abel'far blushed and agreed. Amonova said she had seen nothing like it, that you get to the highest point of arousal and it still wouldn't secrete like this girl did. Petrova said that, faced with that, one could get aroused oneself and that Zolotogromov must already be aroused.

Zolotogromov agreed that the girl was having quite an effect on him. Abel'far sat there red in the face and she was breathing heavily.

-- However, the air in this room is becoming unbearable -- said Strakhova. Abel'far fidgeted on her chair and then leapt up and went out of the room.

-- There -- said Petrova -- you see the result of female seductiveness. It even acts on the ladies. Abel'far has gone off to put herself to rights. I can feel that I will soon have to do the same thing.

-- That -- said Amonova -- only shows the advantage we thin women possess. Everything with us is always as it should be. But both you and Abel'far are splendiferous ladies and you have to keep yourselves very much in check.

-- Yet -- said Zolotogromov -- splendiferousness and a certain lack of bodily hygiene are what is to be particularly valued in a woman.

by Daniil Ivanovich Kharms.

The Man With The Hoe (Written After Seeing Millet's World-Famous Painting)

Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans
Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground,
The emptiness of ages in his face,
And on his back the burden of the world.
Who made him dead to rapture and despair,
A thing that grieves not and that never hopes,
Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox?
Who loosened and let down this brutal jaw?
Whose was the hand that slanted back this brow?
Whose breath blew out the light within this brain?
Is this the Thing the Lord God made and gave
To have dominion over sea and land;
To trace the stars and search the heavens for power;
To feel the passion of Eternity?
Is this the Dream He dreamed who shaped the suns
And marked their ways upon the ancient deep?
Down all the stretch of Hell to its last gulf
There is no shape more terrible than this --
More tongued with censure of the world's blind greed --
More filled with signs and portents for the soul --
More fraught with menace to the universe.

What gulfs between him and the seraphim!
Slave of the wheel of labor, what to him
Are Plato and the swing of Pleiades?
What the long reaches of the peaks of song,
The rift of dawn, the reddening of the rose?
Through this dread shape the suffering ages look;
Time's tragedy is in that aching stoop;
Through this dread shape humanity betrayed,
Plundered, profaned and disinherited,
Cries protest to the Judges of the World,
A protest that is also prophecy.

O masters, lords and rulers in all lands,
Is this the handiwork you give to God,
This monstrous thing distorted and soul-quenched?
How will you ever straighten up this shape;
Touch it again with immortality;
Give back the upward looking and the light;
Rebuild in it the music and the dream;
Make right the immemorial infamies,
Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes?

O masters, lords and rulers in all lands,
How will the Future reckon with this Man?
How answer his brute question in that hour
When whirlwinds of rebellion shake the world?
How will it be with kingdoms and with kings --
With those who shaped him to the thing he is --
When this dumb Terror shall reply to God,
After the silence of the centuries?

by Edwin Markham.

To The Painter Of An Ill-Drawn Picture Of Cleone

Sooner I'd praise a Cloud which Light beguiles,
Than thy rash Hand which robs this Face of Smiles;
And does that sweet and pleasing Air control,
Which to us paints the fair CLEONE's Soul.
'Tis vain to boast of Rules or labour'd Art;
I miss the Look that captivates my Heart,
Attracts my Love, and tender Thoughts inspires;
Nor can my Breast be warm'd by common Fires;
Nor can ARDELIA love but where she first admires.
Like Jupiter's, thy Head was sure in Pain
When this Virago struggl'd in thy Brain;
And strange it is, thou hast not made her wield
A mortal Dart, or penetrating Shield,
Giving that Hand of disproportion'd size
The Pow'r, of which thou hast disarm'd her Eyes:
As if, like Amazons, she must oppose,
And into Lovers force her vanquish'd Foes.
Had to THEANOR thus her Form been shown
To gain her Heart, he had not lost his own;
Nor, by the gentlest Bands of Human Life,
At once secur'd the Mistress and the Wife.
For still CLEONE's Beauties are the same,
And what first lighten'd, still upholds his Flame.
Fain his Compassion wou'd thy Works approve,
Were pitying thee consistent with his Love,
Or with the Taste which Italy has wrought
In his refin'd and daily heighten'd Thought,
Where Poetry, or Painting find no place,
Unless perform'd with a superior Grace.
Cou'd but my Wish some Influence infuse,
Ne'er shou'd the Pencil, or the Sister-Muse
Be try'd by those who easily excuse:
But strictest Censors shou'd of either judge,
Applaud the Artist, and despise the Drudge.
Then never wou'd thy Colours have debas'd
CLEONE's Features, and her Charms defac'd:
Nor had my Pen (more subject to their Laws)
Assay'd to vindicate her Beauty's Cause.
A rigid Fear had kept us both in Awe,
Nor I compos'd, nor thou presum'd to draw;
But in CLEONE viewing with Surprize
That Excellence, to which we ne'er cou'd rise,
By less Attempts we safely might have gain'd
That humble Praise which neither has obtain'd,
Since to thy Shadowings, or my ruder Verse,
It is not giv'n to shew, or to rehearse
What Nature in CLEONE's Face has writ,
A soft Endearment, and a chearful Wit,
That all-subduing, that enliv'ning Air
By which, a sympathizing Joy we share,
For who forbears to smile, when smil'd on by the Fair?

by Anne Kingsmill Finch.