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Maurine – Part 6 [There Was A Week Of Bustle And Of Hurry]
by [?]

Better my lonely sorrow, than to know
My selfish joy had been another’s woe;
Better my grief and my strength to control,
Than the despair of her frail-bodied soul;
Better to go on, loveless, to the end,
Than wear love’s rose, whose thorn had slain my friend.

Work is the salve that heals the wounded heart.
With will most resolute I set my aim
To enter on the weary race for Fame,
And if I failed to climb the dizzy height,
To reach some point of excellence in art.

E’en as the Maker held earth incomplete,
Till man was formed, and placed upon the sod,
The perfect, living image of his God,
All landscape scenes were lacking in my sight,
Wherein the human figure had no part.
In that, all lines of symmetry did meet –
All hues of beauty mingle. So I brought
Enthusiasm in abundance, thought,
Much study, and some talent, day by day,
To help me in my efforts to portray
The wond’rous power, majesty and grace
Stamped on some form, or looking from some face.
This was to be my specialty: To take
Human emotion for my theme, and make
The unassisted form divine express
Anger or Sorrow, Pleasure, Pain, Distress;
And thus to build Fame’s monument above
The grave of my departed hope and love.
This is not Genius. Genius spreads its wings
And soars beyond itself, or selfish things.
Talent has need of stepping-stones: some cross,
Some cheated purpose, some great pain or loss,
Must lay the groundwork, and arouse ambition,
Before it labours onward to fruition.

But, as the lark from beds of bloom will rise
And sail and sing among the very skies,
Still mounting near and nearer to the light,
Impelled wings, to heights sublime.
Impelled alone by love of upward flight,
So Genius soars–it does not need to climb –
Some sportman’s shot, grazing the singer’s throat,
Some venomous assault of birds of prey,
May speed its flight toward the realm of day,
And tinge with triumph every liquid note.
So deathless Genius mounts but higher yet,
When Strife and Envy think to slay or fret.

There is no balking Genius. Only death
Can silence it, or hinder. While there’s breath
Or sense of feeling, it will spurn the sod,
And lift itself to glory, and to God.
The acorn sprouted–weeds nor flowers can choke
The certain growth of th’ upreaching oak.

Talent was mine, not Genius; and my mind
Seemed bound by chains, and would not leave behind
Its selfish love and sorrow.

Did I strive
To picture some emotion, lo! HIS eyes,
Of emerald beauty, dark as ocean dyes,
Looked from the canvas: and my buried pain
Rose from its grave, and stood by me alive.
Whate’er my subject, in some hue or line,
The glorious beauty of his face would shine.

So for a time my labour seemed in vain,
Since it but freshened, and made keener yet,
The grief my heart was striving to forget.
While in his form all strength and magnitude
With grace and supple sinews were entwined,
While in his face all beauties were combined
Of perfect features, intellect and truth,
With all that fine rich colouring of youth,
How could my brush portray aught good or fair
Wherein no fatal likeness should intrude
Of him my soul had worshipped?

But, at last,
Setting a watch upon my unwise heart,
That thus would mix its sorrow with my art,
I resolutely shut away the past,
And made the toilsome present passing bright
With dreams of what was hidden from my sight
In the far distant future, when the soil
Should yield me golden fruit for all my toil.