Richard Francis Burton

(1821 - 1890 / England)

An Unpraised Picture Poem by Richard Francis Burton


I SAW a picture once by Angelo.
“Unfinished,” said the critic; “done in youth;”
And that was all, no thought of praise, forsooth!
He was informed, and doubtless it was so.
And yet, I let an hour of dreaming go
The way of all time, touched to tears and ruth,
Passion and joy, the prick of conscience’ tooth,
Before that careworn Christ’s divine, soft glow.
The painter’s yearning with an unsure hand
Had moved me more than might his master days;
He seemed to speak like one whose Meccaland
Is first beheld, though faint and far the ways;
Who may not then his shaken voice command,
Yet trembles forth a word of prayer and praise.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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