The Complete Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,299 pages of information about The Complete Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

TITIAN. 
                         I am grateful
For so much praise from you, who are a master;
While mostly those who praise and those who blame
Know nothing of the matter, so that mainly
Their censure sounds like praise, their praise like censure.

MICHAEL ANGELO. 
Wonderful! wonderful!  The charm of color
Fascinates me the more that in myself
The gift is wanting.  I am not a painter.

GIORGIO. 
Messer Michele, all the arts are yours,
Not one alone; and therefore I may venture
To put a question to you.

MICHAEL ANGELO. 
                       Well, speak on.

GIORGIO. 
Two nephews of the Cardinal Farnese
Have made me umpire in dispute between them
Which is the greater of the sister arts,
Painting or sculpture.  Solve for me the doubt.

MICHAEL ANGELO. 
Sculpture and painting have a common goal,
And whosoever would attain to it,
Whichever path he take, will find that goal
Equally hard to reach.

GIORGIO. 
                  No doubt, no doubt;
But you evade the question.

MICHAEL ANGELO. 
                        When I stand
In presence of this picture, I concede
That painting has attained its uttermost;
But in the presence of my sculptured figures
I feel that my conception soars beyond
All limit I have reached.

GIORGIO. 
                      You still evade me.

MICHAEL ANGELO. 
Giorgio Vasari, I have often said
That I account that painting as the best
Which most resembles sculpture.  Here before us
We have the proof.  Behold those rounded limbs! 
How from the canvas they detach themselves,
Till they deceive the eye, and one would say,
It is a statue with a screen behind it!

TITIAN. 
Signori, pardon me; but all such questions
Seem to me idle.

MICHAEL ANGELO. 
                 Idle as the wind. 
And now, Maestro, I will say once more
How admirable I esteem your work,
And leave you, without further interruption.

TITIAN. 
Your friendly visit hath much honored me.

GIOROIO. 
Farewell.

MICHAEL ANGELO to GIORGIO, going out.

If the Venetian painters knew
But half as much of drawing as of color,
They would indeed work miracles in art,
And the world see what it hath never seen.

VI

PALAZZO CESARINI

VITTORIA COLONNA, seated in an armchair; JULIA GONZAGA, standing near her.

JULIA. 
It grieves me that I find you still so weak
And suffering.

VITTORIA. 
         No, not suffering; only dying. 
Death is the chillness that precedes the dawn;
We shudder for a moment, then awake
In the broad sunshine of the other life. 
I am a shadow, merely, and these hands,
These cheeks, these eyes, these tresses that my husband
Once thought so beautiful, and I was proud of
Because he thought them so, are faded quite,—­
All beauty gone from them.

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The Complete Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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