Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TEARS OF A PAINTER, by VINCENT BOURNE



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE TEARS OF A PAINTER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Apelles, hearing that his boy
Last Line: Or of thy labour or thy love.
Subject(s): Paintings & Painters


APELLES, hearing that his boy
Had just expired, his only joy! [him,
Although the sight with anguish tore
Bade place his dear remains before him.
He seized his brush, his colours spread;
And--"Oh! my child, accept,"--he said
"('Tis all that I can now bestow,)
"This tribute of a father's woe!"
Then, faithful to the twofold part,
Both of his feelings and his art,
He closed his eyes with tender care,
And formed at once a fellow pair.
His brow with amber locks beset,
And lips he drew, not livid yet;
And shaded all that he had done
To a just image of his son.
Thus far is well. But view again
The cause of thy paternal pain!
Thy melancholy task fulfil!
It needs the last, last touches still.
Again his pencil's powers he tries,
For on his lips a smile he spies:
And still his cheek unfaded shows
The deepest damask of the rose.
Then, heedful to the finished whole,
With fondest eagerness he stole,
Till scarce himself distinctly knew
The cherub copied from the true.
Now, painter, cease! Thy task is done.
Long lives this image of thy son;
Nor short-lived shall the glory prove,
Or of thy labour or thy love.





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