Black As The Devil Painteth


An artist is what is call’d the self that the brush holdeth –
Though hath it then caringly caress’d the Canvas of to-morrow?,
O Canvas! for thee I hold my tool – still! passionless it quivereth,
Minding not that my hands are more than apt;
My Muse,

Where is hidden
The blue-huéd arch’neath the High Heaven’s rich emblazonry,
The flowery meadow, embrac’d by the horizon – snowflakéd and aery mountains,
In which the barebreastéd maidens dance to the lay o’ midsummer,
Aloft the distant lazy flapping of the doves in vainglore.

O Canvas!, wherefore canst thou these images not allow? –
I deem a projection of my Theatre they should be! –
Then, I challenge thee the wisdom of naysaying the yearns o’ mine –
What is this unforseen that not enjoineth light shades to be skillfully paintéd?

The raven sky prey’d on by the snowfill’d, blustery clouds,
Unadornéd the meadow – hunger driveth the wolf out of the wood,
The maidens chainéd and whippéd within a dreary dungeon –
And, lo! ‘twixt the wizen roses a mossy grave:
"The Devil is as Black as he Painteth" –
O Canvas! wherefore?…


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