Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
Personal Poems
An Artist of the Beautiful
George Fuller

HAUNTED of Beauty, like the marvellous youth
Who sang Saint Agnes’ Eve! How passing fair
Her shapes took color in thy homestead air!
How on thy canvas even her dreams were truth!
Magician! who from commonest elements        5
Called up divine ideals, clothed upon
By mystic lights soft blending into one
Womanly grace and child-like innocence.
Teacher! thy lesson was not given in vain.
Beauty is goodness; ugliness is sin;        10
Art’s place is sacred: nothing foul therein
May crawl or tread with bestial feet profane.
If rightly choosing is the painter’s test,
Thy choice, O master, ever was the best.


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