Monday, September 03, 2007

The King's Picture


The king from the council chamber came weary and sore of heart;
He called to Cliff, the painter, and spoke to him thus apart:
"I'm sickened of faces ignoble, hypocrites, cowards, and knaves;
I shall shrink to their shrunken measure, chief slave in a realm of slaves.

Paint me a true man's picture, gracious and wise and good,
Dowered with the strength of heroes and the beauty of womanhood.
It shall hang in my inmost chamber, that, thither when I retire,
It may fill my soul with its grandeur, and warm it with sacred fires."

So the artist painted the picture, and it hung in the palace hall;
Never a thing so lovely had garnished the stately wall.
The King, with head uncovered, gazed on it with rapt delight,
Till it suddenly wore strange meaning - baffled his questioning sight.

For the form was the supplest courtier's, perfect in every limb;
But the bearing was that of the henchman who filled the flagons for him;
The brow was a priest's who pondered his parchment early and late;
The eye was the wandering minstrel's who sang at the palace gate.

The lips, half sad and half mirthful, with a fitful trembling grace,
Were the very lips of a woman he had kissed in the market place;
But the smiles which curves transfigured, as a rose with its shimmer of dew,
Was the smile of the wife who loved him, Queen Ethelyn, good and true.

"Then learn, O King," said the artist, "this truth that the picture tells-
That in every form of the human some hint of the highest dwells;
That scanning each living temple for the place that the veil is thin,
We may gather by beautiful glimpses the form of the God within."

by Helen Bostwick


9 comments:

  1. Love the poem. I had never heard this before! Thanks for sharing.
    amanda

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  2. This is great, it works right into a Sunday lesson I am preparing for the young women at church! Thanks!

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  3. I chose your blog to give the "Nice Matters Award".

    Visit my blog to claim your prize.
    http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/lonestaracademy/384952/

    ReplyDelete
  4. WOW! It's your day for awards! I gave you the "Blogger Reflection" Award. Click on the icon on my page to read the details of the award. Thanks for all your hard work!

    Momma
    www.homeschoolblogger.com/mommaofmany

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for sharing that poem.

    I would really love to know what your favorite resources are for poetry!

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  6. Thank you for the lovely awards, ladies. It is truly an honor for me.

    Flo,
    I use Ambleside's suggestions. I just print them out and put them in booklets for each year. Look at my category section on the side bar under POETRY if you'd like a little more info as to how we implement it.

    Blessings to all of you,
    lindafay

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  7. I've given you an award.

    Smiles,
    Kim

    p.s. Haven't forgotten that care package either, things have just been a little crazy around here of late. We're planning a "fall themed" one. Be looking for it some time toward the middle/end of October.

    Kim

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  8. By the way, here's the link to the post about the award.

    http://inbeautyandingrace.blogspot.com/2007/09/award.html

    It appears as though you been doubly blessed with this one.

    Smiles!

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  9. Thanks, Lindafay!

    I also used AO's poetry suggestions.
    But this year, we are utilizing "Classic Poetry: An Illustrated Collection."

    I really like your idea of putting them in a booklet. (and I have the perfect binding system for that too!)
    Thanks again for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete