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Washington Allston

Never judge a work of art by its defects.

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To Rembrandt

As in that twilight, superstitious age
When all beyond the narrow grasp of mind
Seem'd fraught with meanings of supernal kind,
When e'en the learned, philosophic sage,
Wont with the stars through boundless space to range,
Listen'd with reverence to the changeling's tale;
E'en so, thou strangest of all beings strange!
E'en so, thy visionary scenes I hail;
That like the rambling of an idiot's speech,
No image giving of a thing on earth,
Nor thought significant in Reason's reach,
Yet, in their random shadowings give birth
To thoughts and things from other worlds that come,
And fill the soul, and strike the reason dumb.

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Rosalie

O, pour upon my soul again
That sad, unearthly strain,
That seems from other worlds to plain;
Thus falling, falling from afar,
As if some melancholy star
Had mingled with her light her sighs,
And dropped them from the skies.

No - never came from aught below
This melody of wo,
That makes my heart to overflow
As from a thousand gushing springs
Unknown before; that with it brings
This nameless light - if light it be -
That veils the world I see.

For all I see around me wears
The hue of other spheres;
And something blent of smiles and tears
Comes from the very air I breathe.

[...] Read more

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