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I feel he laid the fetter: let it lie!
The sudden blood of these men! at a This chamber for example — turn your
Praise them, it boils, or blame them, it All that's behind us! You don't under
boils too. stand
I, painting from myself and to myself, 30 Nor care to understand about my art, Know what I do, am unmoved by men's But you can hear at least when people
Or their praise either. Somebody remarks And that cartoon, the second from the door Morello's outline there is wrongly traced, - It is the thing, Love! so such tbing His hue mistaken; what of that? or else, should be
Rightly traced and well ordered; what of Behold Madonna!- I am bold to say I can do with my pencil what I know, 60 Speak as they please, what does the mounWhat I see, what at bottom of my heart
tain care ? I wish for, if I ever wish so deep — | Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his Do easily, too —- when I say, perfectly
grasp, I do not boast, perhaps: yourself are judge, Or what's a heaven for? All is silver-gray Who listened to the Legate's talk last Placid and perfect with my art: the worse! week,
I know both what I want and what might And just as much they used to say in
And yet how profitless to know, to sigh At any rate 't is easy, all of it!
“ Had I been two, another and myself, No sketches first, no studies, that's long Our head would have o'erlooked the world!"
No doubt. I do what many dream of all their lives, 69 Yonder 's a work now, of that famous youth - Dream ? strive to do, and agonize to do, The Urbinate who died five years ago. And fail in doing. I could count twenty ('Tis copied, George Vasari sent it me.) such
Well, I can fancy how he did it all, On twice your fingers, and not leave this Pouring his soul, with kings and popes to town,
see, Who strive — you don't know how the Reaching, that heaven might so replenish others strive
him, To paint a little thing like that you smeared Above and through his art — for it gives Carelessly passing with your robes afloat -
110 Yet do much less, so much less, Someone That arm is wrongly put — and there says,
again (I know his name, no matter) - 80 much A fault to pardon in the drawing's lines, less!
Its body, so to speak: its soul is right, Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged. He means right — that, a child may underThere burns a truer light of God in them,
stand. In their vexed beating stuffed and stopped Still, what an arm! and I could alter it: up brain,
80 But all the play, the insight and the Heart, or whate'er else, than goes on to
stretch — m. prompt
Out of me, out of me! And wherefore This low-pulsed forthright craftsman's
out? hand of mine.
Had you enjoined them on me, given me Their works drop groundward, but them
soul, selves, I know,
We might have risen to Rafael, I and you! Reach many a time a heaven that's shut Nay, Love, you did give all I asked, I to me,
120 Enter and take their place there sure More than I merit, yes, by many times. enough,
But had you — oh, with the same perfect Though they come back and cannot tell the brow, world.
And perfect eyes, and more than perfect My works are nearer heaven, but I sit here. I mouth,
And the low voice my soul hears, as a bird This in the background, waiting on my The fowler's pipe, and follows to the snare
work, Had you, with these the same, but brought To crown the issue with a last reward ! a mind!
A good time, was it not, my kingly days? Some women do so. Had the mouth there | And had you not grown restless . . . but urged
I know — “God and the glory! never care for gain. 'T is done and past; 't was right, my instinct The present by the future, what is that?
said; Live for fame, side by side with Agnolo! Too live the life grew, golden and not Rafael is waiting: up to God, all three !”.
gray, I might have done it for you. So it seems: And I'm the weak-eyed bat no sun should Perhaps not. All is as God overrules. 133
tempt Beside, incentives come from the soul's | Out of the grange whose four walls make self;
his world. The rest avail not. Why do I need you ? | How could it end in any other way? What wife had Rafael, or bas Agnolo? You called me, and I came home to your In this world, who can do a thing, will not;
heart. And who would do it, cannot, I perceive: The triumph was — to reach and stay there; Yet the will's somewhat — somewhat, too,
since the power
I reached it ere the triumph, what is lost? And thus we half-men struggle. At the Let my hands frame your face in your end,
hair's gold, God, I conclude, compensates, punishes. You beautiful Lucrezia that are mine! 'Tis safer for ine, if the award be strict, “Rafael did this, Andrea painted that; That I am something underrated here, The Roman's is the better when you pray, Poor this long while, despised, to speak the But still the other's Virgin was his wife” – truth.
Men will excuse me. I am glad to judge I dared not, do you know, leave home all | Both pictures in your presence; clearer day,
181 For fear of chancing on the Paris lords. My better fortune, I resolve to think. The best is when they pass and look aside; For, do you know, Lucrezia, as God lives, But they speak sometimes; I must bear it Said one day Agnolo, his very self, all.
To Rafael ... I have known it all these Well may they speak! That Francis, that
(When the young man was flaming out his And that long festal year at Fontainebleau!
thoughts I surely then could sometimes leave the Upon a palace-wall for Rome to see, ground,
Too lifted up in heart because of it) Put on the glory, Rafael's daily wear, “ Friend, there's a certain sorry little scrub In that humane great monarch's golden Goes up and down our Florence, none cares look, —
190 One finger in his beard or twisted curl Who, were he set to plan and execute Over his mouth's good mark that made the As you are, pricked on by your popes and smile,
kings, One arm about my shoulder, round my Would bring the sweat into that brow of neck,
yours!” The jingle of his gold chain in my ear, To Rafael's! — And indeed the arm is I painting proudly with his breath on me,
wrong. All his court round him, seeing with his I hardly dare . .. yet, only you to see,
Give the chalk here — quick, thus the line Such frank French eyes, and such a fire of
should go! souls
Ay, but the soul! he's Rafael! rnb it out! Profuse, my hand kept plying by those Still, all I care for, if he spoke the truth, hearts,
(What he ? why, who but Michel Agnolo ? And, best of all, this, this, this face beyond, Do you forget already words like those ?)
If really there was such a chance, so lost, — And throw him in another thing or two Is, whether you 're — not grateful — but If he demurs; the whole should prove more pleased.
enough Well, let me think so. And you smile in To pay for this same Cousin's freak. Bedeed!
239 This hour has been an hour! Another What's better and what's all I care about, smile?
Get you the thirteen scudi for the ruff! If you would sit thus by me every night Love, does that please you? Ah, but what I should work better, do you comprehend ?
does he, I mean that I should earn more, give you The Cousin! what does he to please you more.
more? See, it is settled dusk now; there's a star; Morello's gone, the watch-lights show the I am grown peaceful as old age to-night. wall,
I regret little, I would change still less. The cue-owls speak the name we call them Since there my past life lies, why alter it?
The very wrong to Francis ! - it is true Come from the window, love, - come in, I took his coin, was tempted and complied, at last,
And built this house and sinned, and all is Inside the melancholy little house
said. We built to be so gay with. God is just. My father and my mother died of want. 250 King Francis may forgive me: oft at nights Well, had I riches of my own? you see When I look up from painting, eyes tired | How one gets rich! Let each one bear his out,
lot. The walls become illumined, brick from They were born poor, lived poor, and poor brick
they died: Distinct, instead of mortar, fierce bright And I have labored somewhat in my time gold,
And not been paid profusely. Some good son That gold of his I did cement them with! Paint my two hundred pictures — let him Let us but love each other. Must you go?
try! That Cousin here again ? he waits outside ? No doubt, there's something strikes a balMust see you — you, and not with me?
ance. Yes, Those loans ?
You loved me quite enough, it seems toMore gaming debts to pay ? you smiled for night. that?
This must suffice me here. What would Well, let smiles by me! have you more to
one have ? spend ?
In heaven, perhaps, new chances, one more While hand and eye and something of a
Four great walls in the New Jerusalem, Are left me, work's my ware, and what's Meted on each side by the angel's reed, it worth?
For Leonard, Rafael, Agnolo and me I'll pay my fancy. Only let me sit
To cover — the three first without a wife, The gray remainder of the evening out, While I have mine! So — still they overIdle, you call it, and muse perfectly
come How I could paint, were I but back in Because there's still Lucrezia, — as I France,
choose. One picture, just one more — the Virgin's face,
230 Again the Cousin's whistle! Go, my Love. Not yours this time! I want you at my
RABBI BEN EZRA
The best is yet to be, Finish the portrait out of band — there, The last of life, for which the first was there,
Our times are in his hand
Whose spirit works lest arms and legs Who saith, “A whole I planned,
want play? Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, | To man, propose this test nor be afraid !”
Thy body at its best,
How far can that project thy soul on its Not that, amassing flowers,
I own the Past profuse
Of power each side, perfection every turn: Mine be some figured flame which blends, Eyes, ears took in their dole, transcends them all !”
Brain treasured up the whole;
Should not the heart beat once “ How good Not for such hopes and fears
to live and learn”?
I see the whole design,
I, who saw power, see now Love perfect too: Finished and finite clods, untroubled by a Perfect I call thy plan: spark.
Thanks that I was a man!
Maker, remake, complete, - I trust what Poor vaunt of life indeed.
thou shalt do !”
Our soul, in its rose-mesh
Pulled ever to the earth, still yearns for rest: Irks care the crop full bird ? Frets doubt Would we some prize might hold the maw-crammed beast ?
To match those manifold
Possessions of the brute, -gain most, as Rejoice we are allied
we did best!
“Spite of this flesh to-day Nearer we hold of God
I strove, made head, gained ground upon Who gives, than of his tribes that take, I
the whole !”
Let us cry, “ All good things Then, welcome each rebuff
Are ours, nor soul helps flesh more, now, That turns earth's smoothness rough,
than flesh helps soul !”. Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go! Be our joys three-parts pain!
Therefore I summon age Strive, and hold cheap the strain;
To grant youth's heritage, Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never Life's struggle having so far reached its term: grudge the throe !
Thence shall I pass, approved
A man, for aye removed For thence, - a paradox
From the developed brute; a God though Which comforts while it mocks,
in the germ. Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail: What I aspired to be,
And I shall thereupon And was not, comforts me:
Take rest, ere I be gone A brute I might have been, but would not Once more on my adventure brave and new: sink i' the scale.
Fearless and unperplexed,
When I wage battle next, What is he but a brute
What weapons to select, what armor to Wbose flesh has soul to suit,
Youth ended, I shall try
Were they, my soul disdained, My gain or loss thereby;
Right? Let age speak the truth and give Leave the fire ashes, what survives is gold:
us peace at last! And I shall weigh the same, Give life its praise or blame:
Now, who shall arbitrate ? Young, all lay in dispute; I shall know, | Ten men love what I hate, being old.
Shun what I follow, slight what I receive;
Ten, who in ears and eyes For note, when evening shuts,
Match me: we all surmise, A certain moment cuts
They this thing, and I that: whom shall my The deed off, calls the glory from the
soul believe ? gray: A whisper from the west
Not on the vulgar mass Shoots — “Add this to the rest,
Called “ work," must sentence pass, Take it and try its worth: here dies another Things done, that took the eye and had the day."
O’er wbich, from level stand, So, still within this life,
The low world laid its hand, Though lifted o'er its strife,
Found straightway to its mind, could value Let me discern, con pare, pronounce at last,
in a trice: “This rage was right i' the main, That acquiescence vain:
But all, the world's coarse thumb The Future I may face now I have proved And finger failed to plumb, the Past."
So passed in making up the main account;
All instincts immature, For more is not reserved
All purposes unsure, To man, with soul just nerved
That weighed not as his work, yet swelled To act to-morrow what he learns to-day:
the man's amount: Here, work enough to watch The Master work, and catch
Thoughts hardly to be packed Hints of the proper craft, tricks of the Into a narrow act, tool's true play.
Fancies that broke through language and
escaped; As it was better, youth
All I could never be, Should strive, through acts uncouth, 110 All, men ignored in me, Toward making, than repose on aught This, I was worth to God, whose wheel the found made:
150 So, better, age, exempt From strife, should know, than tempt Ay, note that Potter's wheel, Further. Thou waitedst age: wait death That metaphor ! and feel nor be afraid !
Why time spins fast, why passive lies our
clay, — Enough now, if the Right
Thou, to whom fools propound, And Good and Infinite
When the wine makes its round, Be named here, as thou callest thy hand “Since life fleets, all is change; the Past thine own,
gone, seize to-day !” With knowledge absolute, Subject to no dispute
Fool! All that is, at all, From fools that crowded youth, nor let thee Lasts ever, past recall; feel alone.
Earth changes, but thy soul and God stand
sure: Be there, for once and all,
What entered into thee, Severed great minds from small,
That was, is, and shall be: Announced to each his station in the Past! | Time's wheel runs back or stops: Potter and Was I, the world arraigned,