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I had forestalled this dear and deep rebuke,
2. If I do feign,
3. Thus, royal liege,
* An opinion long prevailed that gold has medicinal virtues, and that when taken into the system it communicates its own incorruptibility. So current was this belief, that the charlatans of old pretended, among other frauds, to make gold potable.
The Paint King. — W. Allston... 1. Fair Ellen was long the delight of the young, No damsel could with her compare ; Her charms were the theme of the heart and the tongue,
And bards without number in ecstasies sung · The beauties of Ellen the fair.
2. Yet cold was the maid"; and, though legions advanced,
3. Yet still did the heart of fair Ellen implore
4. From object to object, still, still would she veer,
5. But, rather than sit like a statue so still,
6. One morn, as the maid from her casement inclined;
7. “Ah, what can he do ?” said the languishing maid “Ah, what with that frame can he do?” And she knelt to the goddess of secrets, and prayed, When the youth passed again, and again he displayed The frame and a picture to view.
8. “0, beautiful picture !” the fair Ellen cried, “I must see thee again, or I die.” Then under her chin her white bonnet she tied, And after the youth and the picture she hied, When the youth, looking back, met her eye.
9. “Fair damsel,” said he (and he chuckled the wh; “ This picture, I see, you admire : Then take it, I pray you ; perhaps 't will beguile Some moments of sorrow (nay; pardon my smile), Or at least, keep you home by the fire.”
10. Then Ellen the gift, with delight and surprise, From the cunning young stripling received. But she knew not the poison that entered her eyes, When, sparkling with rapture, they gazed on her prize ; Thus, alas, are fair maidens deceived !
11. ’T was a youth o'er the form of a statue inclined, And the sculptor he seemed of the stone; Yet he languished as though for its beauty he pined, And gazed, as the eyes of the statue so blind Reflected the beams of his own.
12. 'T was the tale of the sculptor Pygmalion * of old, Fair Ellen remembered, and sighed : “Ah, could'st thou but lift from that marble, so cold, Thine eyes too imploring, thine arms should enfold, And press me this day as thy bride."
13. She said : when, behold, from the canvas arose
14. She turned, and beheld on each shoulder a wing. “O heaven!” cried she, “ who art thou?" From the roof to the ground did his fierce answer ring, As frowning, he thundered, “I am the Paint King ! And mine, lovely maid, thou art now!”
* This was not Pygmalion the brother of Dido, the founder of Carthage, but a celebrated statuary of Cyprus. The licentious conduct of his country-women gave him so great an aversion to the sex, that he resolved never to marry. He afterwards became enamored of a beautiful statue of marble, which he himself had made, and which, according to the mythologists, was changed by Venus, the goddess of beauty, into a woman, whom he married.
+ It is a good rule, that a poet should ever bear in mind, that poetry is, in fact, mental painting; and that no such mixture of metaphors, or of plain and figurative language, can be allowed, as cannot fairly and legitimately be represented to the eye. Mr. Allston, the author of this piece, was one of the most distinguished historical painters of his age; but, how he could picture to his own mind, to say nothing of those of his readers, “a flame" as " freezing," or the means of freezing, cannot easily be seen. If, however, this, and other expressions in the piece, may legitimately be obnoxious to criticism, there are other points about it which make it valuable as an exercise in reading.
15. Then high from the ground did the grim monster lift The loud-screaming maid like a blast; And he sped through the air like a meteor swift, While the clouds, wandering by him, did fearfully drift To the right and the left, as he passed.
16. Now suddenly sloping his hurricane flight, With an eddying whirl he descends; The air all below him becomes black as night, And the ground where he treads, as if moved with affright, Like the surge of the Caspian bends.
17. “I am here!” said the fiend, and he thundering knocked At the gates of a mountainous cave; The gates open flew, as by magic unlocked, While the peaks of the mount, reeling to and fro, rocked Like an island of ice on the wave.
18. "O, mercy!” cried Ellen, and swooned in his arms : But the Paint King, he scoffed at her pain. “Prithee, love," said the monster, “what mean these alarms 2' She hears not, she sees not, the terrible charms That work her to horror again.
19. She opens her lids, but no longer her eyes
20. On the skull of a Titan, that Heaven defied,
21. And anon, as he puffed, the vast volumes were seen,'
22. “Ah me!” cried the damsel, and fell at his feet,
23. Then seizing the maid by her dark auburn hair,
24. On the morn of the eighth, on a huge sable stone,
25. Now reaching his palette,f with masterly care,
26. Then, stamping his foot, did the monster exclaim,
27. Enthroned in the midst, on an emerald bright,
28. In an accent that stole on the still charméd air,
29. “'T is true," said the monster, “thou queen of my heart, Thy portrait I oft have essayed ; Yet ne'er to the canvas could I with my art The least of thy wonderful beauties impart, And my failure with scorn you repaid.
30. “Now I * * by the light of the Comet King's tail,” And he towered with pride as he spoke, “ If again with these magical colors I fail, The crater of Etna shall hence be my jail, And my food shall be sulphur and smoke.
31. “But if I succeed, then, oh fair Geraldine,
* Muller, a stone used by painters for grinding paint. It is used also by apothecaries for mixing their drugs.
+ An oval board, which painters hold in their hand, on which they inix their paints, as they are wanted, to obtain any particular hue or shade.