Alfred Austin

(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

John Everett Millais


Now let no passing-bell be tolled,
Wail now no dirge of gloom;
Nor around purple pall unfold
The trappings of the tomb!
Dead? No, the Artist doth not die;
Enduring as the air, the sky,
He sees the mortal years roll by,
Indifferent to their doom.

With the abiding He abides,
Eternally the same;
From shore to shore Time's sounding tides
Roll and repeat His name.
Death, the kind pilot, from His home
But speeds Him unto widening foam,
Then leaves Him, sunk from sight, to roam
The ocean of his Fame.

Nor thus himself alone He lives,
But, by the magic known
To His ``so potent art,'' He gives
Life lasting as His own.
See, on the canvas, foiling Fate,
With kindling gaze and flashing gait,
Dead Statesmen still defend the State,
And vindicate the Throne.

Stayed by His hand, the loved, the lost,
Still keep their wonted place;
And, fondly fooled, our hearts accost
The vanished form and face.
Beauty, most frail of earthly shows,
That fades as fleetly as it blows,
By Him arrested, gleams and glows
With never-waning grace.

His, too, the wizard power to bring,
When city-pent we be,
The matron Autumn, maiden Spring,
Bracken and birchen-tree.
Look, 'twixt gray boulders fringed with fern,
The tawny torrents chafe and churn,
And, lined with light, the amber burn
Goes bounding to the sea.

Toll then for Him no funeral knell,
Nor around aisle and nave
Let sorrow's farewell anthem swell,
Nor solemn symbols wave.
Your very brightest banners bring,
Your gayest flowers! Sing, voices, sing!
And let Fame's lofty joybells ring
Their greeting at His grave!

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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