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See how his eyes in pity's tenderness do rest
Where sin hath fixed its mark — the mark of passion's


No smile of grieved condoling - but a pardon full

gives he, Though the great heart bleeds because of that the

shadowed eyes did see. Down future years those eyes go travelling - pained,

distressed, The while a prayer for mercy's kindness is addressed The Father's ear.

That was the sacrifice of Christ,
To see, to know the future and the past
To hear the voice of martyr loudly shrieking;
To hear the ribald laughter, the rude speaking
Of ungodly tongues.

To see the crimson blood go flowing,
Of these and all earth's sorrows always knowing.
A torture this, not Dante even could portray
With truth's reality; oh, brother, turn and pray.



Oh, good painter, tell me true,

Has your hand the cunning to draw

Shapes of things that you never saw?
Aye? Well, here is an order for you.

Woods and corn fields, a little brown,

The picture must not be over-bright,

Yet all in the golden and gracious light
Of a cloud, when the summer sun is down.

Alway and alway, night and morn,
Woods upon woods, with field of corn

Lying between them, not quite sere,
And not in the full, thick, leafy bloom,
When the wind can hardly find breathing-room

Under their tassels, - cattle near,
Biting shorter the short green grass,
And a hedge of sumach and sassafras,
With bluebirds twittering all around, -
(Ah, good painter, you can't paint sound !) -

These, and the house where I was born,
Low and little, and black and old,
With children, many as it can hold,
All at the windows, open wide, –
Heads and shoulders clear outside,
And fair young faces all ablush:

Perhaps you may have seen, some day,

Roses crowding the self-same way, Out of a wilding, wayside bush.

Listen closer. When you have done

With woods and corn fields and grazing herds, A lady, the loveliest ever the sun Looked down upon you must paint for me: Oh, if I only could make you see

The clear blue eyes, the tender smile, The sovereign sweetness, the gentle grace,

The woman's soul, and the angel's face
That are beaming on me all the while,

I need not speak these foolish words: Yet one word tells you all I would say, mother: you


That all the rest may be thrown away.

She is my

Two little urchins at her knee
You must paint, sir: one like me,

The other with a clearer brow,
And the light of his adventurous eyes

Flashing with boldest enterprise:
At ten years old he went to sea, -

God knoweth if he be living now,-
He sailed in the good ship Commodore,
Nobody ever crossed her track
To bring us news, and she never came back.

Ah, it is twenty long years and more
Since that old ship went out of the bay

With my great-hearted brother on her deck:

I watched him till he shrank to a speck And his face was toward me all the way. Bright his hair was, a golden brown,

The time we stood at our mother's knee: That beauteous head, if it did go down,

Carried sunshine into the sea!

Out in the fields one summer night

We were together, half afraid
Of the corn-leaves' rustling, and of the shade
Of the high hills stretching so still and far,

Loitering till after the low little light

Of the candle shone through the open door,
And over the hay-stack's pointed top,
All of a tremble and ready to drop

The first half-hour, the great yellow star,
That we, with staring, ignorant eyes,
Had often and often watched to see

Propped and held in its place in the skies
By the fork of a tall red mulberry-tree,

Which close in the edge of our flax field grew,-
Dead at the top, — just one branch full
Of leaves, notched round, lined with wool,

From which it tenderly shook the dew
Over our heads, when we came to play
In its hand-breadth of shadow, day after day.

Afraid to go home, sir; for one of us bore
A nest full of speckled and thin-shelled eggs,
The other, a bird, held fast by the legs,
Not so big as a straw of wheat:
The berries we gave her she wouldn't eat,
But cried and cried, till we held her bill,
So slim and shining, to keep her still.

At last we stood at our mother's knee.

Do you think, sir, if you try,
You can paint the look of a lie?
If you can, pray have the grace

To put it solely in the face
Of the urchin that is likest me:

I think 't was solely mine, indeed: But that's no matter, — paint it so;

The eyes of our mother -(take good heed) Looking not on the nestful of eggs, Nor the fluttering bird, held so fast by the legs, But straight through our faces down to our lies, And, oh, with such injured, reproachful surprise! I felt my heart bleed where that glance went,

as though A sharp blade struck through it.

You sir, know That you on the canvas are to repeat Things that are fairest, things most sweet, Woods and corn fields and mulberry-tree, The mother, the lads, with their bird, at her

knee: But, oh, that look of reproachful woe! High as the heavens your name I'll shout, If you paint me the picture, and leave that out.



Among the beautiful pictures

That hang on Memory's wall
Is one of a dim old forest,

That seemeth best of all;
Not for its gnarled oaks olden,

Dark with the mistletoe;
Not for the violets golden

That sprinkle the vale below;
Not for the milk-white lilies
That lean from the fragrant ledge,

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