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Charles, perjured traitor, for his part,
Should die slow of a broken heart
Under his new employers. Last
-Ah, there, what should I wish? For

Do I grow old and out of strength.
If I resolved to seek at length
My father's house again, how scared
They all would look, and unprepared!
My brothers live in Austria's pay
-Disowned me long ago, men say;
And all my early mates who used
To praise me so-perhaps induced
More than one early step of mine--
Are turning wise: while some opine
"Freedom grows licence," some suspect
Haste breeds delay," and recollect
They always said, such premature
Beginnings never could endure!
So, with a sullen "All's for best,"
The land seems settling to its rest.
I think then, I should wish to stand
This evening in that dear, lost land,
Over the sea the thousand miles,
And know if yet that woman smiles
With the calm smile; some little farm
She lives in there, no doubt: what harm
If I sat on the door-side bench,


And, while her spindle made a trench
Fantastically in the dust,
Inquired of all her fortunes-just
Her children's ages and their names,
And what may be the husband's aims
For each of them. I'd talk this out,
And sit there, for an hour about,
Then kiss her hand once more, and lay
Mine on her head, and go my way.

So much for idle wishing-how It steals the time! To business now. 1845.



I COULD have painted pictures like that youth's Ye praise so. How my soul springs up! No bar Stayed me-ah, thought which saddens

while it soothes! -Never did fate forbid me, star by star,

To outburst on your night with all my gift

Of fires from God: nor would my flesh have shrunk From seconding my soul, with eyes uplift

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Have scared me, like the revels through a door Of some strange house of idols at its rites!

This world seemed not the world it was before:

Mixed with my loving trusting ones, there trooped

... Who summoned those cold faces that begun

To press on me and judge me? Though I stooped

Shrinking, as from the soldiery a


They drew me forth, and spite of me. enough!

These buy and sell our pictures, take and give,

Count them for garniture and householdstuff,

And where they live needs must our pictures live

And see their faces, listen to their prate,

Partakers of their daily pettiness, Discussed of,-"This I love, or this I hate,

This likes me more, and this affects me less!" Wherefore I chose my portion. If at whiles

My heart sinks, as monotonous I paint These endless cloisters and eternal aisles With the same series, Virgin, Babe and Saint,

With the same cold calm beautiful regard,At least no merchant traffics in my heart; The sanctuary's gloom at least shall ward

Vain tongues from where my pictures stand apart: Only prayer breaks the silence of the shrine

While, blackening in the daily candlesmoke, They moulder on the damp wall's travertine,

Mid echoes the light footstep never woke.

Co, die my pictures! surely, gently die !

O youth, men praise so,-holds their [Taise its worth?

Blown harshly, keeps the
golden cry?
Tastes sweet the water
specks of earth?


trump its

with such 1845.

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1 "I know no other piece of modern English, prose or poetry, in which there is so much told, as in these lines, of the Renaissance spirit,-its worldliness, inconsistency, pride, hypocrisy, ignorance of itself, love of art, of luxury, and of good Latin. It is nearly all that I said of the central Renaissance in thirty pages of the Stones of Venice, put into as many lines, Browning's being also the antecedent work. The worst of it is that this kind of concentrated writing needs so much solution before the reader can fairly get the good of it, that people's patience fails them, and they give the thing up as insoluble; though, truly, it ought to be to the current of common thought like Saladin's talisman, dipped in clear water, not soluble altogether, but inaking the element medicinal.” (Ruskin.) Other aspects of the Renaissance spirit, finer but equally true, are expressed, with similar coucentration, in Old Pictures in Florence, Pictor Ignotus, Andrea del Sarto, The Grammarian's Funeral, etc. etc.

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