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Title: The Angel of Thought and Other Poems - Impressions from Old Masters
Author: Murphy, Ethel Allen
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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produced from images generously made available by The
Kentuckiana Digital Library)



THE ANGEL OF THOUGHT



THE ANGEL OF THOUGHT and Other Poems


_Impressions from Old Masters_


ETHEL ALLEN MURPHY


  BOSTON
  RICHARD G. BADGER
  The Gorham Press
  1909



  _Copyright 1908, by Ethel Allen Murphy_
  _All Rights Reserved_
  _The Gorham Press, Boston, U.S.A._



TO MY FRIEND AND TEACHER ANNA J. HAMILTON



    The writer wishes to express her gratitude to the Art
    Department of the Indiana University, whose kindness in
    lending the pictures which suggested the verses, and whose
    mission in opening some of their meanings to her spirit,
    have helped to make possible this little book.



_CONTENTS_


  _The Angel of Thought_                                            13
      (_Suggested by a Fra Angelico Angel._)

  _Annunciation--Sonnet I_                                          15

  _Annunciation--Sonnet II_                                         17
      (_From the picture by Botticelli._)

  _The Visitation_                                                  19
      (_From the picture in Dürer's series on "The Life
      of the Virgin"_)

  _A Botticelli Madonna._

  _I.  The Wondering Angels_                                        21
      (_From the Madonna of the Magnificat._)

  _II.  The Mournful Mother_                                        23
      (_From the Madonna of the Pomegranate._)

  _III.  The Loving Christ_                                         25
      (_From the Madonna of the Rose Garden._)

  _The Angel of the Jasmine Wreath_                                 27
      (_From Botticelli's painting, in the Borghese
      Gallery, of the Madonna and Child with Angels._)

  _A Prayer for the Followers of Ideal Beauty_                      29
      (_With a pencil sketch of an angel, by Botticelli._)



_ILLUSTRATIONS_


  1. _Angel--"Te Deum Laudamus," by  Fra Angelico._                 12

  2. _"The Annunciation"--by Botticelli._                           14

  3. _"The Visitation" (From the picture in the series on
     "The Life of the Virgin,") by Dürer._                          18

  4. _"The Madonna of the Magnificat"--by Botticelli._              20

  5. _"The Madonna of the Pomegranate"--by Botticelli._             22

  6. _"The Madonna of the Rose Garden"--by Botticelli._             24

  7. _The Angel Crowned with a Jasmine Wreath--by Botticelli._      26

  8. _Pencil Sketch of an Angel--by Botticelli_.                    28



[Illustration: _Te Deum Laudamus by Fra Angelico_]



THE ANGEL OF THOUGHT

(_Suggested by a Fra Angelico Angel_)


  Angel of Thought, meseems God winged _thee_ so,
  And crowned thine head with passion fine as flame,
  And made thy lifted face too pure for shame,
  With eyes and brow a mirror to His glow;--
  And gave thy lips a golden trump, that, though
  Long years have passed since other angels came
  To work the mighty wonders of His name,--
  In God's own name and man's, thyself shalt go
  Forever on strong pinions to and fro,
  And round the earth reverberating blow
  The mute, world-shaking music of the mind;
  That thou might'st make as naught all space and time,
  And thrill in mystic oneness through mankind,
  Yet dwell in each, inviolate, sublime.



[Illustration: _The Annunciation by Botticelli_]



ANNUNCIATION

(_From the picture by Botticelli_)


  I

  Kneeling in prayer, her spirit rapt above,
  She meets with God, Who bendeth, brooding low,
  In vast compassion humanward, and so,
  There comes upon her life the power of Love:
  Rising--behold! with pinions like a dove,
  An angel with a rod where row on row
  Of chaliced lilies spill supernal glow,--
  Which all her thought to wonder mute doth move.
  Then falls upon the rapture of her soul,
  Dimly some vision of Gethsemane,
  Athwart the Resurrection's shining goal,
  And with uplifted hand she pleads as One
  Shall pray in night of darkest agony,
  "This cup remove,--yet, Lord, Thy Will be done."



ANNUNCIATION

(_From a picture by Botticelli_)


  II

  Immortal eloquence of mystic Art!
  How strangely o'er oblivion and gray time,
  That hand doth speak, as in the painter's prime
  It uttered thus his own and Mary's heart,
  At sight of it, what rich conjectures start,
  Adown the years, what wistful Aves chime,
  That wake the soul to rapture how sublime,
  Wherewith we, too, must bear in Him our part!
  For unto each to bring redemption's share,
  Whereby adown the ages Christ is borne,
  There comes the angel of the lilied rod;
  And though our souls with anguish sore are torn,
  We pray once more the world-o'ercoming prayer,
  And then is born in us the Word of God.



[Illustration: _The Visitation by Dürer_]



THE VISITATION

(_From the picture in Dürer's series on "The Life of the Virgin"_)


  The mountains wonder from their cloudy height,
  The skies look on and grow more deep with awe;
  From these two women, earthly loves withdraw,
  And leave them shrined in some ensphering light,--
  More fine than that which greets the earthly sight,
  More glorious than that Creation saw,
  When, from abeyance to primeval law,
  There burst the dawn from out the womb of night;
  Yet are all things unchanged around them,--these,
  The ancient hills, the town, the quiet trees,
  The household presences through which they grope
  Blind to all else but to each other's eyes,
  Wherein, transforming heaven and earth, there lies
  Sublime effulgence of immortal Hope.



[Illustration: _The Madonna of the Magnificat, by Botticelli_]



A BOTTICELLI MADONNA

  I

  THE WONDERING ANGELS


  Behold! the Tabernacle of God's Will
  This woman's form enshrineth.  What is this,
  More glorious than all our age-long bliss,
  Which shines within the shadow of her sill?
  How shall we lift this strangeness which doth fill
  Her human heart to breaking,--we who miss
  In our immortal joy, the enlight'ning kiss
  Of sorrow's bitter lips whence comforts thrill?
  How shall we sing to her of joys to come,
  To her who bears upon her breast the sum
  Of death's dread gloom and heaven's undying light?
  Lean close, ah, close, about her from above,--
  Behold upon the mildness of her love
  Enthroned the terrors of His Holy Might!



[Illustration: _The Madonna of the Pomegranate by Botticelli_]



A BOTTICELLI MADONNA

  II

  THE MOURNFUL MOTHER


  O child of mine, my little Son, alas!
  Beneath the sunlight of Thy gentle eyes,
  Too soon, too soon, what fateful shadows rise,
  Like night foretold in some sweet woodland glass?
  On tender feet that scarcely bow the grass,
  What stains are those of ripe pomegranate dyes?--
  When on my breast Thy head in slumber lies,
  What thorns are those that through my heart do pass?
  And round about these crowds of haunting forms
  That burn their splendor through my dimmest dreams!
  O little Child, Thou Wonder too divine,
  Thy precious body all my bosom warms
  With mine own blood, but oftentimes it seems,
  Too dearly loved,--that yet Thou art not mine.



[Illustration: _The Madonna of the Rose Garden, by Botticelli_]



A BOTTICELLI MADONNA

  III

  THE LOVING CHRIST


  The little hands returning wistfully
  From birdlike wand'rings, ever come to rest,
  On fostering hand on tender cheek or breast;
  The upturned eyes, with loving certainty
  Seek ever the grave face where broodingly,
  The mother-soul by yearning love opprest,
  With wings down-drooped, seems folded o'er the nest
  Where lies the Hope of all humanity.
  And she His World, and He her Calvary,--
  He wraps her round with all the mystery
  Of love predestined for earth's needy ones;
  "Be comforted," it seems He fain would say,
  "O mother mine, there dawns an Easter day,
  And thou in me hast mothered many sons."



[Illustration: _Angel Crowned with Jasmine Wreath, by Botticelli_]



THE ANGEL OF THE JASMINE WREATH

(_From a picture by Botticelli, of the Madonna and Child with
Angels,--in the Borghese Gallery_)


  Ineffable angel, with the jasmine wreathed,
  Wherefrom the sweetness over brow and lips,
  And luminous white eyelids tremulously slips,
  A visible essence from thy beauty breathed,--
  The pure and pensive marvel of thy face is sheathed
  In tresses softer than the bloom of night,
  Wherefrom the dampness on thy forehead drips
  With dews from out God's meadows infinite,--
  Thy face, itself, a lily filled with light:--
  Thyself the youngest of God's angels and most fair,
  Bearing His latest breath and blessing on thine hair,
  Thou comest fresh from looking on thy Lord;
  And all is well, and all is filled for thee
  With eloquent, mute wonder of His Word.
  Oh, lean a little forth thy lips to me,
  For I am fain of peace amid this earthly strife,
  And I would drink, a spent soul, thirstily,
  From out thy never-failing cup of life.



[Illustration: _Angel, from a pencil sketch, by Botticelli_]



A PRAYER FOR THE FOLLOWERS OF IDEAL BEAUTY

(_With a pencil sketch of an Angel by Botticelli_)


  Thou in whose All no work imperfect stands,
  Thou who dost gaze on Beauty's unveiled face,
  Grant to Thy children Thy sustaining grace,
  When low at length have run the daylight sands,--
  When, though their day was set to Thy commands,
  They bow contritely in prayer's holy place,
  Because through strivings beauty-wards they trace
  The sad misshapings of their earthly hands:
  Grant them at eve a soul devoutly still,
  Grant them in dreams a vision of Thy light,
  Grant them at morn a sorrow purged away
  Into the peace of all-absolving night,
  Star in the dawnlight of a fairer day,
  Nearer the blossom of Thy perfect Will.





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