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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-1, 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


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,

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 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?


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,
Weke, 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'


call ? Master-a ... Cosimo of the Medici,

['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 your knaves
Pick up a manner, nor discredit you :
Zooks, are we pilchards, that they sweep the streets
And count fair prize what comes into their net ?
He's Judas to a tittle, that man is !
Just such a face! Why, sir, you make amends.
Lord, I 'm not angry! Bid your hangdogs go
Drink out this quarter-florin to the health
Of the munificent House that harbours me
(And many more beside, lads! more beside !)
And all 's come square again. I'd like his face-
His, elbowing on his comrade in the door
With the pike and lantern,—for the slave that holds
John Baptist's head a-dangle by the hair
With one hand (“ Look you, now,” as who should say)
And his weapon in the other, yet unwiped !
It's not your chance to have a bit of chalk,
A wood-coal or the like? or you should see !
Yes, I 'm the painter, since you style me so.
What, brother Lippo's doings, up and down,
You know them, and they take you? like enough !
I saw the proper twinkle in your eye-
'Tell you, I liked your looks at very first.
Let's sit and set things straight now,

hip to haunch.
Here's spring come, and the nights one makes up bands
To roam the town and sing out carnival,
And I 've been three weeks shut within my mew,
A-painting for the great man, saints and saints
And saints again. I could not paint all night-
Ouf! I leaned out of window for fresh air.
There came a hurry of feet and little feet,
A sweep of lute-strings, laughs, and whifts of song,-
Flower o the broom,

Take away love, and our earth is a tomb !
Flower o' the quince,
I let Lisa go, and what good in life since ?
Flower o' the thymeand so on. Round they went.
Scarce had they turned the corner when a titter
Like the skipping of rabbits by moonlight,—three slim

And a face that looked up zooks, sir, flesh and blood,
That's all I 'm made of! Into shreds it went,
Curtain and counterpane and coverlet,
All the bed-furniture-a dozen knots,
There was a ladder ! Down I let myself,
Hands and feet, scrambling somehow, and so dropped,
And after them. I came up with the fun
Hard by Saint Lawrence, hail fellow, well met,-
Flower o the rose,
If I've been merry, what matter who knows?
And so, as I was stealing back again,
To get to bed and have a bit of sleep
Ere I rise up to-morrow and go work
On Jerome knocking at his poor old breast
With his great round stone to subdue the flesh,
You snap me of the sudden. Ah, I see !
Though your eye twinkles still, you shake

headMine 's shaved-a monk, you say-the sting 's in that ! If Master Cosimo announced himself, Mum 's the word naturally; but a monk ! Come, what am I a beast for? tell us, now ! I was a baby when my mother died And father died and left me in the street. I starved there, God knows how, a year or two On fig-skins, melon-parings, rinds and shucks, Refuse and rubbish. One fine frosty day, My stomach being empty as your hat, The wind doubled me up and down I went. Old Aunt Lapaccia trussed me with one hand,


(Its fellow was a stinger, as I knew)
And so along the wall, over the bridge,
By the straight cut to the convent. Six words there,
While I stood munching my first bread that month :

So, boy, you 're minded,” quoth the good fat father Wiping his own mouth, 't was refection-time,“ To quit this very miserable world ? “ Will you renounce”..." the mouthful of bread ? "

thought I; By no means ! Brief, they made a monk of me; I did renounce the world, its pride and greed, Palace, farm, villa, shop and banking-house, Trash, such as these poor devils of Medici Have given their hearts to—all at eight years old. Well, sir, I found in time, you may be sure, 'T was not for nothing—the good bellyful, The warm serge and the rope that goes all round, And day-long blessed idleness beside ! " Let 's see what the urchin 's fit for"—that came next. Not overmuch their way, I must confess. Such a to-do! They tried me with their books : Lord, they 'd have taught me Latin in pure waste ! Flower ò the clove, All the Latin I construe is, Amo" I love ! But, mind you, when a boy starves in the streets Eight years together, as my fortune was, Watching folk's faces to know who will fling The bit of half-stripped grape-bunch he desires, And who will curse or kick him for his pains,Which gentleman processional and fine, Holding a candle to the Sacrament, Will wink and let him lift a plate and catch The droppings of the wax to sell again, Or holla for the Eight and have him whipped, How say I ?—nay, which dog bites, which lets drop His bone from the heap of offal in the street,

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