My Portrait Gallery

A poem by James Russell Lowell

Oft round my hall of portraiture I gaze,
By Memory reared, the artist wise and holy,
From stainless quarries of deep-buried days.
There, as I muse in soothing melancholy,
Your faces glow in more than mortal youth,
Companions of my prime, now vanished wholly,
The loud, impetuous boy, the low-voiced maiden,
Now for the first time seen in flawless truth.
Ah, never master that drew mortal breath
Can match thy portraits, just and generous Death,
Whose brush with sweet regretful tints is laden!
Thou paintest that which struggled here below
Half understood, or understood for woe,
And with a sweet forewarning
Mak'st round the sacred front an aureole glow
Woven of that light that rose on Easter morning.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'My Portrait Gallery' by James Russell Lowell

comments powered by Disqus