Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TITIAN'S TWO LOVES, IN THE BORGHESE, by ROBERT UNDERWOOD JOHNSON



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TITIAN'S TWO LOVES, IN THE BORGHESE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: One forgets not the first dead he sorrowed over
Last Line: God, the master, limner, painted both in thee.
Subject(s): Titian (1490-1576); Vecelli, Tiziano; Vecellio, Tiziano


ONE forgets not the first dead he sorrowed over;
One forgets not the first kiss of the first lover.
Not the dust of ages could remembrance cover
How in Titian's golden kingdom first I strayed.

Oh, that Roman morning's azure, softly sifting
Through the gray, the while the rapt eye caught the rifting
Of the sun's rich fire where molten mists were drifting,
As one looks upon an opal gently swayed.

Ah! but in the palace there was sun more golden!
Art for once to Nature was no more beholden.
Man to his beloved had the passion olden
Sung in color, and his mighty Love grew Fame.

For I guessed, while hotly others were contending
Which was Love Divine, that each to each was lending
Supplemental graces for a perfect blending --
That to paint one twofold woman was his aim.

One without the other's beauty were but torso:
Human needs divine, ah, yes, and -- maybe more so --
By divine is needed. (Singing down the Corso
I, elate, enthralled, went, happy just to be!)
. . .

Yet till thee at last I knew -- each blended feature
Where the two Loves meet in rightly balanced nature --
Never had I known a tithe of Titian's creature:
God, the master, limner, painted both in thee.





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