Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, STANZAS TO PAINTING, by THOMAS CAMPBELL

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STANZAS TO PAINTING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O thou by whose expressive art
Last Line: And call thee brightest of the nine!
Subject(s): Paintings & Painters

O THOU by whose expressive art
Her perfect image Nature sees
In union with the Graces start,
And sweeter by reflection please!

In whose creative hand the hues
Fresh from yon orient rainbow shine;
I bless thee, Promethean Muse!
And call thee brightest of the Nine!

Possessing more than vocal power,
Persuasive more than poet's tongue;
Whose lineage, in a raptured hour,
From Love, the Sire of Nature, sprung;

Does Hope her high possession meet?
Is joy triumphant, sorrow flown?
Sweet is the trance, the tremor sweet,
When all we love is all our own.

But oh! thou pulse of pleasure dear,
Slow throbbing, cold, I feel thee part;
Lone absence plants a pang severe,
Or death inflicts a keener dart.

Then for a beam of joy to light
In memory's sad and wakeful eye!
Or banish from the noon of night
Her dreams of deeper agony.

Shall Song its witching cadence roll?
Yea, even the tenderest air repeat,
That breathed when soul was knit to soul,
And heart to heart responsive beat?

What visions rise! to charm, to melt!
The lost, the loved, the dead are near!
Oh, hush that strain too deeply felt!
And cease that solace too severe!

But thou, serenely silent art!
By heaven and love wast taught to lend
A milder solace to the heart,
The sacred image of a friend.

All is not lost! if, yet possessed,
To me that sweet memorial shine;
If close and closer to my breast
I hold that idol all divine.

Or, gazing through luxurious tears,
Melt o'er the loved departed form,
Till death's cold bosom half appears
With life, and speech, and spirit warm.

She looks! she lives! this tranced hour,
Her bright eye seems a purer gem
Than sparkles on the throne of power,
Or glory's wealthy diadem.

Yes, Genius, yes! thy mimic aid
A treasure to my soul has given,
Where beauty's canonized shade
Smiles in the sainted hues of heaven.

No spectre forms of pleasure fled,
Thy softening, sweetening tints restore;
For thou canst give us back the dead,
E'en in the loveliest looks they wore.

Then blest be Nature's guardian Muse,
Whose hand her perished grace redeems!
Whose tablet of a thousand hues
The mirror of creation seems.

From Love began thy high descent;
And lovers, charmed by gifts of thine,
Shall bless thee mutely eloquent;
And call thee brightest of the Nine!

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