James Russell Lowell

(22 February 1819 – 12 August 1891 / Cambridge, Massachusetts)

To Miss D. T. On Her Giving Me A Drawing Of Little Street Arabs - Poem by James Russell Lowell

As, cleansed of Tiber's and Oblivion's slime,
Glow Farnesina's vaults with shapes again
That dreamed some exiled artist from his pain
Back to his Athens and the Muse's clime,
So these world-orphaned waifs of Want and Crime,
Purged by Art's absolution from the stain
Of the polluting city-flood, regain
Ideal grace secure from taint of time.
An Attic frieze you give, a pictured song;
For as with words the poet paints, for you
The happy pencil at its labour sings,
Stealing his privilege, nor does him wrong,
Beneath the false discovering the true,
And Beauty's best in unregarded things.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 10, 2012



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