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Poem by Alfred Austin
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!
Alfred Austin's other poems:
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