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up brain,




to me,



Well, less is more, Lucrezia: I am judged. ('Tis copied, George Vasari sent it me.)
There burns a truer light of God in them, Well, I can fancy how he did it all,
In their vexed beating stuffed and stopped- | Pouring his soul, with kings and popes to

see; Heart, or whate'er else, than goes on to Reaching, that heaven might so replenish prompt

him, This low-pulsed forthright craftsman's Above and through his art, - for it gives

hand of mine. Their works drop groundward; but them That arm is wrongly put — and there selves, I know,

again Reach many a time a heaven that's shut A fault to pardon in the drawing's lines,-

Its body, so to speak : its soul is right, Enter and take their place there sure He means right — that,

a child may enough,

understand. Though they come back and cannot tell the Still, what an arm! and I could alter world.

it: My works are nearer. heaven, but I sit But all the play, the insight and the here.


Out of me, out of me! And wherefore The sudden blood of these men! at a out? word,

Had you enjoined them on me, given me Praise them, it boils; or blame them, it soul, boils too.

We might have risen to Rafael, I and you! I, painting from myself and to myself, 90 Nay, Love, you did give all I asked, I Know what to do, am unmoved by men's think, blame,

More than I merit, yes, by many times. Or their praise either.) Somebody remarks But had you — oh, with the same perfect Morello's outline, there is wrongly brow, traced,

And perfect eyes, and more than perfect His hue mistaken: what of that?

mouth, else,

And the low voice my soul hears, as a Rightly traced and well ordered: what of bird that?

95 The fowler's pipe, and follows to the Speak as they please, what does the mountain care?


you, with these the same, but brought Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his

a mind! grasp,

Some women do so. Had the mouth, Or what's a heaven_for? All is silver there, urged: gray

“God and the glory! never care for gain. Placid and perfect with my art: the worse ! The present by the future, what is that? I know both what I want, and what might Live for fame, side by side with gain:

Agnolo! And yet how profitless to know; to sigh, Rafael is waiting: up to God, all three!” “Had I been two, another and myself, I might have done it for you. So it seems: Our head would have o'erlooked the Perhaps not. . All is as God overrules. world!" | No doubt. '

Beside, incentives come from the soul's Yonder's a work now, of that famous self: youth,

The rest avail not. Why do I need The Urbinate, who died five years ago. 105










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A good time, was it not, my kingly

days? And had you not grown restless ... but

I know 'Tis done and past; 'twas right, my instinct

said: Too live the life grew, golden and not

gray; And I'm the weak-eyed bat no sun should

tempt Out of the grange whose four walls make

his world. How could it end in any other way? You called me, and I came home to your

heart: The triumph was, - to reach and stay

there; since I reached it ere the triumph, what is lost? Let my hands frame your face in your

hair's gold, You beautiful Lucrezia that are mine! "Rafael did this, Andrea painted that; The Roman's is the better when you pray, But still the other's Virgin was his

wife" Men will excuse I am glad to

judge Both pictures in your presence; clearer

grows My better fortune, I resolve to think. For, do you know, Lucrezia, as God lives, Said one day Agnolo, his very self, To Rafael I have known it all these

years (When the young man was flaming out his

thoughts Upon a palace-wall for Rome to see, Too lifted up in heart because of it): "Friend, there's a certain sorry little scrub Goes up and down our Florence, none

cares how, Who, were he set to plan and execute As you are, pricked on by your popes and

kings, Would bring the sweat into that brow of

yours!” To Rafael's! — And indeed the arm is

wrong. I hardly dare . . . yet, only you to see, 195


'Tis safer for me, if the award be strict, That I am something underrated here, Poor this long while, — despised, to speak

the truth. I dared not, do you know, leave home all

day, For fear of chancing on the Paris lords. The best is when they pass and look

aside; But they speak sometimes; I must bear it

all. Well may they speak! That Francis, that

first time, And that long festal year at Fontaine

bleau ! I surely then could sometimes leave the

ground, Put on the glory, Rafael's daily wear, In that humane great monarch's golden

look, One finger in his beard or twisted curl Over his mouth's good mark that made

the smile; One arm about my shoulder, round my

neck; The jingle of his gold chain in my ear: I painting proudly with his breath on

me, All his court round him, seeing with his

eyes, Such frank French eyes, and such a fire

of souls Profuse, my hand kept plying by those

hearts And, best of all, this, this, this face be

yond, This in the background, waiting on my

work, To crown the issue with a last reward!







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Are left me, work's my ware, and what's

it worth? I'll pay my fancy. Only let me sit The gray remainder of the evening out, Idle, you call it, — and muse perfectly How I could paint, were I but back in

France, One picture, just one more the Virgin's

face, Not yours this time! I want you at my

side To hear them that is, Michel Agnolo Judge all I do, and tell you of its worth. Will you? Tomorrow, satisfy your friend. I take the subjects for his corridor, Finish the portrait out of hand — there,

there, And throw him in another thing or two If he demurs: the whole should prove

enough To pay for this same Cousin's freak. Be


Well, let me think so. And you smile

indeed! This hour has been an hour! Another

smile? If you would sit thus by me every night 205 I should work better, do you comprehend ? I mean that I should earn more, give you






What's better and what's all I

about, Get you the thirteen scudi for the ruff! Love, does that please you? Ah, but what

does he, The Cousin! what does he to please you



See, it is settled dusk now: there's a star; Morello's gone; the watch-lights show the

wall; The cue-owls speak the name we call them

by. Come from the window, love, come in,

at last, Inside the melancholy little house We built to be so gay with. God is just. King Francis may forgive me: oft at nights When I look up from painting, eyes tired

out, The walls become illumined, brick from

brick Distinct, instead of mortar, fierce bright

gold, That gold of his I did cement them with! Let us but love each other. Must you go? That Cousin here again? he waits outside?

- you, and not with me? Those loans ? More gaming debts to pay? you smiled

for that? Well, let smiles buy me! have you more to

spend? While hand and eye and something of a


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Must see you

Well, had I riches of my own? you see How one gets rich! Let each one bear his

lot. They were born poor, lived poor, and poor

they died: And I have labored somewhat in my time And not been paid profusely. Some good

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No doubt, there's something strikes a bal

Yes, You loved me quite enough, it seems

tonight. This must suffice me here. What would

one have?

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In heaven, perhaps, new chances, one more

chance Four great walls in the New Jerusalem, Meted on each side by the angel's reed, For Leonard, Rafael, Agnolo, and me

the three first without a wife, While I have mine! So — still they over



To cover,

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. l' the house that caps the corner. -Boh!

you were best! Remember and tell me, the day you're

hanged, How you

affected such gullet'sgripe! 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 hang

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dogs go

Drink out this quarter-florin to the health Of the munificent House that harbors



(And many more beside, lads! more be

side!) 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 un

wiped ! It's not your chance to have a bit of chalk, A wood-coal or the like? or you should




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, 'tis past midnight, and you go the

rounds, And here you catch me at an alley's end 5 Where sportive ladies leave their doors

ajar? The Carmine's my cloister: hunt it up,

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!


betters! Then, you'll take Your hand away that's fiddling on my

throat, And please to know me likewise. Who


Yes, I'm the painter, since you style me

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am I?

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'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



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 Onfig-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

of song,



Flower ó' 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 thyme — and so on. Round

they went. Scarce had they turned the corner when


a titter




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 'twas 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

Like the skipping of rabbits by moonlight,

three slim shapes, 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,

65 And after them. I came up with the fun Hard by Saint Laurence, hail fellow, well

met, Flower ó 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 tomorrow and go work On Jerome knocking at his poor old breast With his great round stone to subdue the




I did renounce the world, — its pride and

greed, Palace, farm, villa, shop, and banking

house, Trash such these poor devils of

Medici Have given their hearts to, - all at eight




years old.

Well, sir, I found in time, you may be


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