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VITTORIA. And yon long line of lights, those sunlit win
dows Blaze like the torches carried in procession To do her honor! It is beautiful!
You speak a name That always thrills me with a noble sound, As of a trumpet! Michael Angelo! A lion all men fear and none can tame; A man that all men honor, and the model That all should follow; one who works and
prays, For work is prayer, and consecrates his life To the sublime ideal of his art, Till art and life are one ; a man who holds Such place in all men's thoughts, that when
they speak Of great things done, or to be done, his name Is ever on their lips.
I have no heart to feel the beauty of it!
You too can paint The portrait of your hero, and in colors Brighter than Titian's ; I might warn you
also Against the dangers that beset your path; But I forbear.
VITTORIA. I will go with you; for I would not lose One hour of your dear presence. "T is enough Only to be in the same room with you. I need not speak to you, nor hear you speak; If I but see you, I am satisfied.
[They go in.
MICHAEL ANGELO's Studio. He is at work on the cartoon
of the Last Judgment.
If I were made of marble, Of Fior di Persico or Pavonazzo, He might admire me: being but flesh and
Why did the Pope and his ten Cardinals Come here to lay this heavy task upon me?
Were not the paintings on the Sistine ceiling Enough for them? They saw the Hebrew
leader Waiting, and clutching his tempestuous beard, But heeded not. The bones of Julius Shook in their sepulchre. I heard the sound; They only heard the sound of their own voices.
The dead to judgment! Ye recording angels, Open your books and read! Ye dead, awake! Rise from your graves, drowsy and drugged
with death, As men who suddenly aroused from sleep Look round amazed, and know not where
they are !
Are there no other artists here in Rome
Fra Bastian, my Fra Bastian, might have
done it ; But he is lost to art. The Papal Seals, Like leaden weights upon a dead man's eyes, Press down his lids; and so the burden falls On Michael Angelo, Chief Architect And Painter of the Apostolic Palace. That is the title they cajole me with, To make me do their work and leave my own; But having once begun, I turn not back. Blow, ye bright angels, on your golden trum
pets To the four corners of the earth, and wake
In happy hours, when the imagination
What is it guides my hand, what thoughts
possess me, That I have drawn her face among the angels,
Seems to caress the city that he loves,
A Chapel in the Church of San Silvestro on Monte Cavallo. VITTORIA Colonna, CLAUDIO TOLOMMEI, and others.
Where she will be hereafter? O sweet dreams, That through the vacant chambers of my
heart Walk in the silence, as familiar phantoms Frequent an ancient house, what will
me ? ”T is said that Emperor's write their names in
green When under age, but when of age in purple. So Love, the greatest Emperor of them all, Writes his in green at first, but afterwards In the imperial purple of our blood. First love or last love, — which of these two
passions Is more omnipotent? Which is more fair, The star of morning or the evening star? The sunrise or the sunset of the heart? The hour when we look forth to the unknown, And the advancing day consumes the shadows, Or that when all the landscape of our lives Lies stretched behind us, and familiar places Gleam in the distance, and sweet memories Rise like a tender haze, and magnify The objects we behold, that soon must vanish ?
Ilere let us rest a while, until the crowd Has left the church. I have already sent For Michael Angelo to join us here.
After Fra Bernardino's wise discourse
MICHAEL ANGELO, at the door. How like a Saint or Goddess she appears ; Diana or Madonna, which I know not! In attitude and aspect formed to be At once the artist's worship and despair !
Welcome, Maestro. We were waiting for you.
I met your messenger upon the way, And hastened hither.
What matters it to me, whose countenance
head Is a ploughed harvest-field, where threescore
years Have sown in sorrow and have reaped in an
guish; To me, the artisan, to whom all women Have been as if they were not, or at most A sudden rush of pigeons in the air, A flutter of wings, a sound, and then a si
lence ? I am too old for love; I am too old To flatter and delude myself with visions Of never-ending friendship with fair women, Imaginations, fantasies, illusions, In which the things that cannot be take shape, And seem to be, and for the moment are.
[Convent bells ring.
It is kind of you To come to us, who linger here like gossips Wasting the afternoon in idle talk. These are all friends of mine and friends of
If friends of yours, then are they friends of
mine. Pardon me, gentlemen. But when I entered I saw but the Marchesa.
Distant and near and low and loud the bells,
Take this seat Between me and Ser Claudio Tolommei, Who still maintains that our Italian tongue