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It's a horror to think of. And so, the villa for me, not

the city! Beggars can scarcely be choosers : but still-ah, the

pity, the pity! Look, two and two go the priests, then the monks with

cowls and sandals, And the penitents dressed in white shirts, a-holding the

yellow candles; One, he carries a flag up straight, and another a cross

with handles, And the Duke's guard brings up the rear, for the better

prevention of scandals : Bang-whang-whang goes the drum, tootle-te-tootle the fife. Oh, a day in the city-square, there is no such pleasure in

life !

1

PICTOR IGNOTUS.

FLORENCE, 154

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

And wide to heaven, or, straight like thunder, sunk To the centre, of an instant; or around

Turned calmly and inquisitive, to scan The licence and the limit, space and bound,

Allowed to truth made visible in man. And, like that youth ye praise so, all I saw,

Over the canvas could my hand have flung, Each face obedient to its passion's law,

Each passion clear proclaimed without a tongue
Whether Hope rose at once in all the blood,

A-tiptoe for the blessing of embrace,
Or Rapture drooped the eyes, as when her brood

Pull down the nesting dove's heart to its place ;
Or Confidence lit swift the forehead up,

And locked the mouth fast, like a castle braved, O human faces, hath it spilt, my cup ?

What did ye give me that I have not saved ? Nor will I say I have not dreamed (how well :)

Of going—I, in each new picture,-forth, As, making new hearts beat and bosoms swell,

To Pope or Kaiser, East, West, South, or North, Bound for the calmly satisfied great State,

Or glad aspiring little burgh, it went,
Flowers cast upon the car which bore the freight,

Through old streets named afresh from the event, Till it reached home, where learned age should greet

My face, and youth, the star not yet distinct Above his hair, lie learning at my feet !

Oh, thus to live, I and my picture, linked With love about, and praise, till life should end,

And then not go to heaven, but linger here, Here on my earth, earth's every man my friend,

The thought grew frightful, 't was so wildly dear! But a voice changed it. Glimpses of such sights

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

These buy and sell our pictures, take and give, Count them for garniture and household-stuff,

And where they live needs must our pictures live And see their faces, listen to their prate,

heart;

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
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 candle-smoke, They moulder on the damp wall's travertine,

'Mid echoes the light footstep never woke. So, die my pictures ! surely, gently die !

O youth, men praise so,-holds their praise its worth ? Blown harshly, keeps the trump its golden cry?

Tastes sweet the water with such specks of earth ?

FRA LIPPO LIPPI.

I AM poor brother Lippo, by your leave
You need not clap your torches to my face.
Zooks, what 's to blame? you think you see a monk !
What, 't is past midnight, and you go the rounds,
And here you catch me at an alley's end
Where sportive ladies leave their doors ajar?
The Carmine 's my cloister : hunt it up,
Do,-harry out, if you must show your zeal,
Whatever rat, there, haps on his wrong hole,
And nip each softling of a wee white mouse,
IVeke, weke, that 's crept to keep him company!
Aha, you know your betters? Then, you 'll take
Your hand away that's fiddling on my throat,
And please to know me likewise. Who am I?
Why, one, sir, who is lodging with a friend
Three streets off–he 's a certain how d' ye call ?
Master-a ... Cosimo of the Medici,
l' the house that caps the corner. Boh! you were best !
Remember and tell me, the day you 're hanged,
How you affected such a gullet’s-gripe !
But you, sir, it concerns you that

knaves
Pick up a manner, nor discredit you :
Zooks, are we pilchards, that they sweep the streets

your

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