Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HIS LAST PICTURE, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

HIS LAST PICTURE, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: The skies have grown troubled and
Last Line: To where it wound into the skies.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Art & Artists; Flowers; Paintings And Painters; Sky; Youth

THE skies have grown troubled and dreary;
The clouds gather fold upon fold;
The hand of the painter is weary
And the pencil has dropped from its hold:
The easel still leans in the grasses,
And the palette beside on the lawn,
But the rain o'er the sketch as it passes
Weeps low -- for the artist is gone.

The flowers whose fairy-like features
Smiled up in his own as he wrought,
And the leaves and the ferns were his teachers,
And the tints of the sun what they taught;
The low-swinging vines, and the mosses --
The shadow-filled boughs of the trees,
And the blossomy spray as it tosses
The song of the bird to the breeze.

The silent white laugh of the lily
He learned; and the smile of the rose
Glowed back on his spirit until he
Had mastered the blush as it glows;
And his pencil has touched and caressed them,
And kissed them, through breaths of perfume,
To the canvas that yet shall have blessed them
With years of unwithering bloom.

Then come! -- Leave his palette and brushes
And easel there, just as his hand
Has left them, ere through the dark hushes
Of death, to the shadowy land,
He wended his way, happy-hearted
As when, in his youth, his rapt eyes
Swept the pathway of Fame where it started,
To where it wound into the skies.

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