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LINES ON A PICTURE BY LEONARDO DA VINCI,
CALLED “THE VIRGIN OF THE ROCKS.”
WHILE young John runs to greet
But at her side
Théophile Gautier. TRANSLATION OF CHARLOTTE FISKE BATES.
Set as a challenge at the mountain's side,
ODE TO A GRECIAN URN.
Thou still unravished bride of quietness!
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time! Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme;
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
In Tempe or the vales of Arcady?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy ?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore ye soft pipes, play on Not to the sensual ear, but more endeared,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone ! Fair youth beneath the trees, thou canst not leave Thy song, nor even can those trees be bare
; Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss Though winning near the goal, yet do not grieve
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, Forever wilt thou love and she be fair!
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the spring adieu ;
Forever piping songs forever new ;
Forever warm and still to be enjoyed,
That leaves a heart high sorrowful and cloyed, A burning forehead and a parching tongue.
Who are these coming to the sacrifice ?
To what green altar, 0 mysterious priest,
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest ? What little town by river or sea-shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, Is emptied of her folk, this pious morn? And, little town, thy streets forevermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell Why thou art desolate, will e'er return.
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought, With forest branches and the trodden weed !
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought As doth eternity! Cold pastoral ! When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st, “Beauty is truth, truth, beauty, - that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know !”
HE who hath bent him o'er the dead
And marked the mild angelic air,
THE ANTIQUE AT PARIS.
What the Greek wrought, the vaunting Frank may
gain, And waft the pomp of Hellas to the Seine.