Rhymes On The Road. Extract IV. Milan.

A poem by Thomas Moore

The Picture Gallery.--Albano's Rape of Proserpine.--Reflections.-- Universal Salvation.--Abraham sending away Agar, by Guercino.--Genius.


Went to the Brera--saw a Dance of Loves
By smooth ALBANO! him whose pencil teems
With Cupids numerous as in summer groves
The leaflets are or motes in summer beams.

'Tis for the theft of Enna's flower from earth,
These urchins celebrate their dance of mirth
Round the green tree, like fays upon a heath--
Those that are nearest linkt in order bright,
Cheek after cheek, like rose-buds in a wreath;
And those more distant showing from beneath
The others' wings their little eyes of light.
While see! among the clouds, their eldest brother
But just flown up tells with a smile of bliss
This prank of Pluto to his charmed mother
Who turns to greet the tidings with a kiss!

Well might the Loves rejoice--and well did they
Who wove these fables picture in their weaving
That blessed truth, (which in a darker day
ORIGEN lost his saintship for believing,[1])--
That Love, eternal Love, whose fadeless ray
Nor time nor death nor sin can overcast,
Even to the depths of hell will find his way,
And soothe and heal and triumph there at last!
GUERCINO'S Agar--where the bondmaid hears
From Abram's lips that he and she must part,
And looks at him with eyes all full of tears
That seem the very last drops from her heart.
Exquisite picture!--let me not be told
Of minor faults, of coloring tame and cold--
If thus to conjure up a face so fair,[2]
So full of sorrow; with the story there
Of all that woman suffers when the stay
Her trusting heart hath leaned on falls away--
If thus to touch the bosom's tenderest spring,
By calling into life such eyes as bring
Back to our sad remembrance some of those
We've smiled and wept with in their joys and woes,
Thus filling them with tears, like tears we've known,
Till all the pictured grief becomes our own--
If this be deemed the victory of Art--
If thus by pen or pencil to lay bare
The deep, fresh, living fountains of the heart
Before all eyes be Genius--it is there!

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