Canadian Born

by Emily Pauline Johnson

The Art of Alma-Tadema


There is no song his colors cannot sing,
      For all his art breathes melody, and tunes
The fine, keen beauty that his brushes bring
      To murmuring marbles and to golden Junes.

The music of those marbles you can hear
      In every crevice, where the deep green stains
Have sunken when the grey days of the year
      Spilled leisurely their warm, incessant rains

That, lingering, forgot to leave the ledge,
      But drenched into the seams, amid the hush
Of ages, leaving but the silent pledge
      To waken to the wonder of his brush. [Page 65]

And at the Master’s touch the marbles leap
      To life, the creamy onyx and the skins
Of copper-colored leopards, and the deep,
      Cool basins where the whispering water wins

Reflections from the gold and glowing sun,
      And tints from warm, sweet human flesh, for fair
And subtly lithe and beautiful, leans one—
      A goddess with a wealth of tawny hair. [Page 66]