The Genius of PaintingEdit


The Genius of Painting one summer eve stray'd,
In a moment of leisure, to Flora's bright bower,
Where, scatter'd around, by the hand of the maid,
In the richest profusion, bloom'd many a flower.

“Oh, see,” Flora cried, as the Genius drew nigh,
“What an Eden of beauty is blossoming here!
But yet”—and a tear-drop stood bright in her eye,—
“How soon will its loveliness all disappear!

“Oh Genius! bid them still live in your art,
And my gratitude well shall your kindness repay;
To some favour'd mortal your spirit impart,
And teach him to rescue my flowers from decay.”

Behold I have rear'd, in my favourite bower,
A shrine, and an altar, dear Painting, for you;
And there will I offer each loveliest flower,
As often as morning their sweets shall renew.”

“Many thanks, dearest Flora!” the Genius cried,
“Though many an altar and temple is mine,
That with richer and costlier gifts are supplied,
Yet none of them all shall be dearer than thine.

“I will gift with my spirit whoever you will,
Yet choose not, dear Flora, the renegade man;
For the ingrate from you will be wandering still,
O'er fields more extended and varied to scan.”

At this instant, a maiden drew near to the bower,
And Flora's own fondness beam'd soft from her eye,
As with rapture she hung o'er each beautiful flower,
Or heaved o'er the dying a tremulous sigh.

Flora turn'd on the Genius a smile of delight—
“There, Painting,” she cried, “is my favourite maid!
Infuse in her bosom your genius bright,
And soon shall your altar be richly array'd.”

“On that maid, then,” said he, “shall my spirit descend,
A bright, and unfading, and beautiful gem;
The young favourite of Flora my shrine shall attend,
And the priestess of painting shall still be D. M.”