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|To Tintoretto in Venice|
|The Art of Painting had in the Primitive years looked|
with the light, not towards it. Before Tintoretto’s date,
however, many painters practised shadows and lights, and
turned more or less sunwards; but he set the figure between
himself and a full sun. His work is to be known in Venice
by the splendid trick of an occluded sun and a shadow thrown
straight at the spectator.
Master, thy enterprise, |
Magnificent, magnanimous, was well done,
Which seized the head of Art, and turned her eyes
The simpletonand made her front the sun.
Long had she sat content, |
Her young unlessoned back to a morning gay,
To a solemn noon, to a cloudy firmament,
And looked upon a world in gentle day.
But thy imperial call |
Bade her to stand with thee and breast the light,
And therefore face the shadows, mystical,
Sombre, translucent vestiges of night,
Yet glories of the day. |
Eagle! we know thee by thy undaunted eyes
Sky-ward, and by thy glooms; we know thy way
Ambiguous, and those halo-misted dyes.
Thou Cloud, the bridegroom’s friend |
(The bridegroom sun)! Master, we know thy sign:
A mystery of hues world-without-end;
And hide-and-seek of gamesome and divine;
Shade of the noble head |
Cast hitherward upon the noble breast;
Human solemnities thrice hallowèd;
The haste to Calvary, the Cross at rest.
Look sunward, Angel, then! |
Carry the fortress-heavens by that hand;
Still be the interpreter of suns to men;
And shadow us, O thou Tower! for thou shalt stand.
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Lane Core Jr. (email@example.com)
Created April 10, 2001; not revised.