Portrait Des Français

Tous vos goûts sont inconséquents :
Un rien change vos caractères ;
Un rien commande à vos penchants.

by Fanny de Beauharnais.

Under Wessels Portrait

Graad smelted hen i Smil, naar Wessels Lune bød,
Og Glædens Smil forsvandt i Taarer ved hans Død.

by Jens Baggesen.

Med Mit Photographerede Portrait I Ramme

For med Visitkaart ei at staae tilskamme
Og for ei at levere just det Samme,
Tillad, jeg sender mit, sat i en Ramme.

by Hans Christian Andersen.

Under O. Mallings Portrait

Han præged Dydens lysende Bedrift
I Nordens Bog med Sanddruhedens Stempel,
Og ved sin Daad forøger han sit Skrift
End daglig med et elskeligt Exempel.

by Adam Oehlenschläger.

Under En Ung Afdød Piges Portrait

Igjennem hendes Øines Dyb man saae
En Sjæl saa reen, saa fuld af Kjærlighed.
Hvor smukt i Haabets unge Aar at gaae
Fra Hjertets Hjem ind i Guds Herlighed.

by Hans Christian Andersen.

Under Frue Caroline Walthers Portrait

See her hvad Aand, hvad Ild, i hver en Mine,
Naar vor Aglae taus kun viser sig,
See her er præget af Thalias Caroline,
Hvis Sang saa ofte har fortryllet dig.

by Johannes Ewald.

Written Under A Portrait Of Keats

A GOD-LIKE face, with human love and will
And tender fancy traced in every line:
A god-like face, but oh, how human still!
Dear Keats, who love the gods their love is thine.

by John Boyle O'Reilly.

Under A Portrait Of Jukowsky

The charm and sweetness of his magic verse
Will mock the envious years for centuries!
Since youth, on hearing them, for glory burns,
The wordless sorrow comfort in them sees,
And careless joy to wistful musing turns.

by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin.

Under Kong Frederik Den Syvendes Portrait

I Høisal og i fattig Vraa opstillet
En Huusgud skal os være nu dit Billede.
En evig Blomsterkrands vil Danmark flette
Omkring Dit elskte Navn, Du Folkets Kjære!
Og af din Priis for Verden frem at bære,
Skal danske Harper aldrig vorde trætte.

by Christian Winther.

Lines Printed Under The Engraved Portrait Of Milton, In Tonson's Folio Edition Of The Paradise Lost, 1688

Three poets, in three distant ages born,
Greece, Italy, and England, did adorn.
The first, in loftiness of thought surpassed;
The next, in majesty; in both, the last.
The force of nature could no further go;
To make a third, she joined the former two.

by John Dryden.

Lines Inscribed Under Fergusson's Portrait

CURSE on ungrateful man, that can be pleased,
And yet can starve the author of the pleasure.
O thou, my elder brother in misfortune,
By far my elder brother in the Muses,
With tears I pity thy unhappy fate!
Why is the Bard unpitied by the world,
Yet has so keen a relish of its pleasures?

by Robert Burns.

Lines Inscribed Under Fergusson's Portrait

CURSE on ungrateful man, that can be pleased,
And yet can starve the author of the pleasure.
O thou, my elder brother in misfortune,
By far my elder brother in the Muses,
With tears I pity thy unhappy fate!
Why is the Bard unpitied by the world,
Yet has so keen a relish of its pleasures?

by Robert Burns.

In A Portrait Gallery

In vain, Bright Girl! you bid us mark
Each charm of portrait round us thrown,
When sight and soul alike are dark
To every face—except your own.
And while yon connoisseurs eschew
All 'Perfect'—save in the 'Ideal;'
To prove them false we turn to you,
And find our 'Perfect'—in the 'Real.'

by John Kenyon.

Interior Portrait

You don't survive in me
because of memories;
nor are you mine because
of a lovely longing's strength.

What does make you present
is the ardent detour
that a slow tenderness
traces in my blood.

I do not need
to see you appear;
being born sufficed for me
to lose you a little less.

Translated by A. Poulin

by Rainer Maria Rilke.

LIKE the sway of the silver birch in the breeze of dawn
Is her dainty way;
Like the gray of a twilight sky or a starlit lawn
Are her eyes of gray;
Like the clouds in their moving white
Is her breast's soft stir;
And white as the moon and bright
Is the soul of her.

Like murmur of woods in spring ere the leaves be green,
Like the voice of a bird
That sings by a stream that sings through the night unseen,
So her voice is heard.
And the secret her eyes withhold
In my soul abides,
For white as the moon and cold
Is the heart she hides.

by Edith Nesbit.

Riant portrait, tourment de mon désir,
Muet amour, si loin de ton modèle !
Ombre imparfaite du plaisir,
Tu seras pourtant plus fidèle.
De ta gaîté je me plains aujourd'hui ;
Mais si jamais il cesse de m'entendre,
À toi je me plaindrai de lui,
Et tu me paraîtras plus tendre.

Si tu n'as pas, pour aller à mon coeur,
Son oeil brûlant et son parler de flamme,
Par un accent doux et trompeur
Tu n'égareras pas mon âme.
Sans trouble, à toi je livre mon secret.
S'il était là, je fuirais vite, vite.
Je suis seule... ah ! Riant portrait,
Que n'es-tu celui que j'évite !

by Marceline Desbordes-Valmore.

Portrait Of My Father As A Young Man

In the eyes: dream. The brow as if it could feel
something far off. Around the lips, a great
freshness--seductive, though there is no smile.
Under the rows of ornamental braid
on the slim Imperial officer's uniform:
the saber's basket-hilt. Both hands stay
folded upon it, going nowhere, calm
and now almost invisible, as if they
were the first to grasp the distance and dissolve.
And all the rest so curtained within itself,
so cloudy, that I cannot understand
this figure as it fades into the background--.

Oh quickly disappearing photograph
in my more slowly disappearing hand.

by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Looking At A Portrait

O why are there eyes like these,
That sparkle and dapple and tease,
So wide with the morning, so deep with the night,
Dancing and gleaming in passioned delight?
O why are there eyes like these?

O why are there lips like these?
Caressed by the southern breeze,
That beckon and call and hold a slave
All who therewith each soul-cry leave?
O why are there lips like these?

O why are there arms like these?
That crumple and crush as they please
A weak man's heart, and in their embrace
Bring a glow of red to a strong man's face?
O why are there arms like these?

by Joseph Seamon Cotter.

On A Portrait Of Wordsworth

WORDSWORTH upon Helvellyn ! Let the cloud
Ebb audibly along the mountain-wind,
Then break against the rock, and show behind
The lowland valleys floating up to crowd
The sense with beauty. He with forehead bowed
And humble-lidded eyes, as one inclined
Before the sovran thought of his own mind,
And very meek with inspirations proud,
Takes here his rightful place as poet-priest
By the high altar, singing prayer and prayer

To the higher Heavens. A noble vision free
Our Haydon's hand has flung out from the mist:
No portrait this, with Academic air !
This is the poet and his poetry.

by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

When friends grown faithless, or the fickle throng,
Withdrawing from my life the love they lent,
Breed in my heart disdainful discontent,
And sadden sunshine with a sense of wrong,
Then I, forgetting to be wise and strong,
And on my own endearment too intent,
Unto myself make musical lament,
And lullaby my pain with plaintive song.
But, when I gaze upon this face august,
Her gift, who, seated on earth's loftiest throne,
For others' weal holds half the world in trust,
Pondering on cares of Empire all alone,
I, then rebuked, remember to be just,
Think of her griefs, and quite forget my own.

by Alfred Austin.

The little world span round and round,
Singing along her sunny ways,
And all the glory she unwound
She gave to him for joy and praise.

And he, whom lavish morning met
With new-blown flowers and minstrelsy,
Looked on the gift through eyelids wet
For sorrow of satiety.

And he, whom noon put to the proof,
With trumpet-call and weapon blessed,
Fought the brave fight with soul aloof
Harkening for some remote behest.

Not homeward could the winged feet fare,
The lyric laughter choked a sigh—
A wanderer from he knew not where,
Dreamer of dreams, he knew not why.

by Harriet Monroe.

Portrait And Reality

If on the closed curtain of my sight
My fancy paints thy portrait far away,
I see thee still the same, by night or day;
Crossing the crowded street, or moving bright
'Mid festal throngs, or reading by the light
Of shaded lamp some friendly poet's lay,
Or shepherding the children at their play,--
The same sweet self, and my unchanged delight.

But when I see thee near, I recognize
In every dear familiar way some strange
Perfection, and behold in April guise
The magic of thy beauty that doth range
Through many moods with infinite surprise,--
Never the same, and sweeter with each change.

by Henry Van Dyke.

To Her Portrait

This that you see, the false presentment planned
With finest art and all the colored shows
And reasonings of shade, doth but disclose
The poor deceits by earthly senses fanned!
Here where in constant flattery expand
Excuses for the stains that old age knows,
Pretexts against the years' advancing snows,
The footprints of old seasons to withstand;

'Tis but vain artifice of scheming minds;
'Tis but a flower fading on the winds;
'Tis but a useless protest against Fate;
'Tis but stupidity without a thought,
A lifeless shadow, if we meditate;
'Tis death, tis dust, tis shadow, yea, 'tis nought.

by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.

Sonnet X: The Portrait

O Lord of all compassionate control,
O Love! let this my lady's picture glow
Under my hand to praise her name, and show
Even of her inner self the perfect whole:
That he who seeks her beauty's furthest goal,
Beyond the light that the sweet glances throw
And refluent wave of the sweet smile, may know
The very sky and sea-line of her soul.
Lo! it is done. Above the enthroning throat
The mouth's mould testifies of voice and kiss,
The shadowed eyes remember and foresee.
Her face is made her shrine. Let all men note
That in all years (O Love, thy gift is this!)
They that would look on her must come to me.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Thoughtful in youth, but not austere in age;
Calm, but not cold, and cheerful though a sage;
Too true to flatter and too kind to sneer,
And only just when seemingly severe;
So gently blending courtesy and art
That wisdom’s lips seemed borrowing friendship’s heart.

Taught by the sorrows that his age had known
In others’ trials to forget his own,
As hour by hour his lengthened day declined,
A sweeter radiance lingered o’er his mind.
Cold were the lips that spoke his early praise,
And hushed the voices of his morning days,
Yet the same accents dwelt on every tongue,
And love renewing kept him ever young.

by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

A little child, she stood that far-off day,
When Love, the master-painter, took the brush
And on the wall of mem'ry dull and grey
Traced tender eyes, wide brow, and changing blush,
The gladness and the youth, the bending head
All covered over with its curls of gold,
The dimpled arms, the two hands filled with bread
To feed the little sparrows brown and bold
That flutter to her feet. It hangs there still,
Just as 'twas painted on that far-off day,
Nor faded is the blush upon the cheek,
The sweet lips hold their smiling and can thrill,
And still the eyes-so tender, and so meek-
Light up the walls of mem'ry dull and grey.

by Jean Blewett.

Isole, A Portrait

Her sleep was calm as summer night,
Her opening eyes like spring awaking;
Her smile as fleet as is the light
Of morning o'er the mountain breaking.

Her tears were those that April knows,
Her breath the airs that rise at even,
Her gaze the western star that glows
Beyond its sisters in the heaven.

Her spirit as the air was free,
Her bosom as the earth was tender,
Her humour various as the sea,
And men her slaves were to defend her.

Her hair was like the ruddy flame,
Her voice was as the silver water :
'Twas Nature to her cradle came,
And gave these gifts unto her daughter.

by Richard Crawley.

You Know That Portrait In The Moon


You know that Portrait in the Moon—
So tell me who 'tis like—
The very Brow—the stooping eyes—
A fog for—Say—Whose Sake?

The very Pattern of the Cheek—
It varies—in the Chin—
But—Ishmael—since we met—'tis long—
And fashions—intervene—

When Moon's at full—'Tis Thou—I say—
My lips just hold the name—
When crescent—Thou art worn—I note—
But—there—the Golden Same—

And when—Some Night—Bold—slashing Clouds
Cut Thee away from Me—
That's easier—than the other film
That glazes Holiday—

by Emily Dickinson.

The steadfastness of generations of nobility
shows in the curving lines that form the eyebrows.
And the blue eyes still show traces of childhood fears
and of humility here and there, not of a servant's,
yet of one who serves obediantly, and of a woman.
The mouth formed as a mouth, large and accurate,
not given to long phrases, but to express
persuasively what is right. The forehead without guile
and favoring the shadows of quiet downward gazing.

This, as a coherent whole, only casually observed;
never as yet tried in suffering or succeeding,
held together for an enduring fulfillment,
yet so as if for times to come, out of these scattered things,
something serious and lasting were being planned.

Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming

by Rainer Maria Rilke.

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.

Sargent's Portrait Of Edwin Booth

That face which no man ever saw
And from his memory banished quite,
With eyes in which are Hamlet's awe
And Cardinal Richelieu's subtle light,
Looks from this frame. A master's hand
Has set the master player here,
In the fair temple that he planned
Not for himself. To us most dear
This image of him! "It was thus
He looked; such pallor touched his cheek;
With that same grace he greeted us--
Nay, 't is the man, could it but speak!"
Sad words that shall be said some day--
Far fall the day! O cruel Time,
Whose breath sweeps mortal things away,
Spare long this image of his prime,
That others standing in the place
Where, save as ghosts, we come no more,
May know what sweet majestic face
The gentle Prince of Players wore!

by Thomas Bailey Aldrich.

On Seeing A Portrait Of Sir Robert Walpole

Such were the lively eyes and rosy hue
Of Robin's face, when Robin first I knew;
The gay companion and the fav'rite guest;
Lov'd without awe, and without views caress'd;
His cheerful smile, and open honest look,
Added new graces to the truth he spoke.
Then ev'ry man found something to commend,
The pleasant neighbour and the worthy friend;
The gen'rous master of a private house,
The tender father and indulgent spouse.
The hardest censors at the worst believ'd,
His temper was too easily deceiv'd
(A consequential ill good-nature draws,
A bad effect, but from a noble cause).
Whence, then, these clamours of a judging crowd?
Suspicious, griping, insolent, and proud --
Rapacious, cruel, violent, unjust;
False to his friend, and traitor to his trust?

by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

The Portrait Of A Child

That brow, that smile, that cheek so fair,
Beseem my child, who weeps and plays:
A heavenly spirit guards her ways,
From whom she stole that mixture rare.
Through all her features shining mild,
The poet sees an angel there,
The father sees a child.

And by their flame so pure and bright,
We see how lately those sweet eyes
Have wandered down from Paradise,
And still are lingering in its light.

All earthly things are but a shade
Through which she looks at things above,
And sees the holy Mother-maid,
Athwart her mother's glance of love.

She seems celestial songs to hear,
And virgin souls are whispering near.
Till by her radiant smile deceived,
I say, 'Young angel, lately given,
When was thy martyrdom achieved?
And what name lost thou bear in heaven?'

by Victor Marie Hugo.

Were I an artist, Lydia, I
Would paint you as you merit,
Not as my eyes, but dreams, descry;
Not in the flesh, but spirit.

The canvas I would paint you on
Should be a bit of heaven;
My brush, a sunbeam; pigments, dawn
And night and starry even.

Your form and features to express,
Likewise your soul's chaste whiteness,
I'd take the primal essences
Of darkness and of brightness.

I'd take pure night to paint your hair;
Stars for your eyes; and morning
To paint your skin-the rosy air
That is your limbs' adorning.

To paint the love-bows of your lips,
I'd mix, for colors, kisses;
And for your breasts and finger-tips,
Sweet odors and soft blisses.

And to complete the picture well,
I'd temper all with woman,
Some tears, some laughter; heaven and hell,
To show you still are human.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

Zoë A Portrait

When Zoë turns to look or speak,
We feel a spell the heart beguile.
Dwells it in pure transparent cheek;
In laughing eye, or frolic smile?
Dwells it in frank, yet well-bred, air;
Dwells it in habit, choice, but simple;
Lurks it in ringlet of her hair;
Or shifts it with the shifting dimple?
No!—These are not her spells from Love;
Only the lesser charms he uses;
Slight witcheries the sense to move;
His baits—his pitfalls—and his nooses.

Yet these have oft betrayed the wise—
But she hath deeper spells than these:
A temper, gay as summer skies,
Yet gentle as the vernal breeze.
And blushes, quick that come—and go,
As feeling wakens or reposes,
When neck and cheek and forehead glow,
Like one wide bed of open'd roses.
And ready wit, of playful dealing;
Or—if some tale of grief betide—
As ready tear; which, while outstealing,
She—shyly still—attempts to hide.

by John Kenyon.

Blest art! What magic powers with thine may vie,
That brings (too seldom seen) a Brother nigh?
That gives, by colours into canvass wrought,
The hue of sentiment, and tinge of thought?
The lips, with soft affection's smile that glow,
And the mild wisdom of the studious brow?
I look, again I look, and still 'tis there;
I catch, with varying lights, a happier air;
Approach, step back, the favouring distance choose,
And, line by line, the well known face peruse:
Almost expect the opening lips to pour
With usual flow the treasured mental store,
And fondly dream our meeting glances prove
The' accustomed beamings of fraternal love.
But O! should fate in some disastrous day,—
Avert it Heaven!—the living form decay;
Hide, hide, ye pitying friends, the mimic light,
Veil, veil the image from my tortured sight;
The shadow of past joys I could not bear,
Nor would it speak of comfort, but despair.

by Anna Laetitia Barbauld.

Portrait Of A Lady. By Sir Thomas Lawrence

LADY , thy lofty brow is fair,
Beauty's sign and seal are there;
And thy lip is like the rose
Closing round the bee's repose;
And thine eye is like a star,
But blue as the sapphires' are.
Beautiful patrician! thou
Wearest on thy stately brow
All that suits a noble race,
All of high-born maiden's grace,--
Who is there could look on thee
And doubt thy nobility?

Round thee satin robe is flung,
Pearls upon thy neck are hung,
And upon thy arm of snow
Rubies like red sun-gifts glow;
Yet thou wearest pearl and gem
As thou hadst forgotten them.--
'Tis a step, but made to tread
O'er Persian web, or flower's head,--
Soft hand that might only move
In the broider'd silken glove,--
Cheek unused to ruder air
Than what hot-house rose might bear,--
One whom nature only meant
To be queen of the tournament,--
Courtly fete, and lighted hall,--
Grace and ornament of all!

by Letitia Elizabeth Landon.

A Plantation Portrait

HAIN'T you see my Mandy Lou,
Is it true?
Whaih you been f'om day to day,
Whaih, I say?
Dat you say you nevah seen
Dis hyeah queen
Walkin' roun' f'om fiel' to street
Smilin' sweet?
Slendah ez a saplin' tree;
Seems to me
W'en de win' blow f'om de bay
She jes' sway
Lak de reg'lar saplin' do
Ef hit's grew
Straight an' graceful, 'dout a limb,
Sweet an' slim.
Browner den de frush's wing,
An' she sing
Lak he mek his wa'ble ring
In de spring;
But she sholy beat de frush,
Hyeah me, hush:
W'en she sing, huh teef kin show
White ez snow.
Eyes ez big an' roun' an' bright
Ez de light
Whut de moon gives in de prime
Harvest time.
An' huh haih a woolly skein,
Black an' plain,
Hol's you wid a natchul twis'
Close to bliss.
Tendah han's dat mek yo' own
Feel lak stone;
Easy steppin', blessid feet,
Small an' sweet.
Hain't you seen my Mandy Lou,
Is it true?
Look at huh befo' she's gone,
Den pass on!

by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

To The Portrait Of

Well, Miss, I wonder where you live,
I wonder what’s your name,
I wonder how you came to be
In such a stylish frame;
Perhaps you were a favorite child,
Perhaps an only one;
Perhaps your friends were not aware
You had your portrait done.

Yet you must be a harmless soul;
I cannot think that Sin
Would care to throw his loaded dice,
With such a stake to win;
I cannot think you would provoke
The poet’s wicked pen,
Or make young women bite their lips,
Or ruin fine young men.

Pray, did you ever hear, my love,
Of boys that go about,
Who, for a very trifling sum,
Will snip one’s picture out?
I’m not averse to red and white,
But all things have their place,
I think a profile cut in black
Would suit your style of face!

I love sweet features; I will own
That I should like myself
To see my portrait on a wall,
Or bust upon a shelf;
But nature sometimes makes one up
Of such sad odds and ends,
It really might be quite as well
Hushed up among one’s friends!

by Oliver Wendell Holmes.

To The Committee Of The Cayley Portrait Fund

O wretched race of men, to space confined!
What honour can ye pay to him, whose mind
To that which lies beyond hath penetrated?
The symbols he bath formed shall sound his praise,
And lead him on through unimagined ways
To conquests new, in worlds not yet created.

First, ye Determinants! in ordered row
And massive column ranged, before him go,
To form a phalanx for his safe protection.
Ye powers of the nth roots of — 1!
Around his head in ceaseless cycles run,
As unembodied spirits of direction.

And you, ye undevelopable scrolls!
Above the host wave your emblazoned rolls,
Ruled for the record of his bright inventions.
Ye Cubic surfaces! by threes and nines
Draw round his camp your seven-and-twenty lines—
The seal of Solomon in three dimensions.

March on, symbolic host! with step sublime,
Up to the flaming bounds of Space and Time!
There pause, until by Dickenson depicted,
In two dimensions, we the form may trace
Of him whose soul, too large for vulgar space,
In n dimensions flourished unrestricted.

by James Clerk Maxwell.