Thursday, March 7, 2013

Two Pictures.... so sad so much truth in its words...

Two Pictures....... Unknown author.

Two Pictures hung on the dingy wall
Of a grand old Florentine hall —

One of a child of beauty rare,
With a cherub face and golden hair,
The lovely look of whose radiant eyes
Filled the soul with thoughts of Paradise.

The other was a visage vile
Marked with the lines of lust and guile,
A loathsome being, whose features fell
Brought to the soul weird thoughts of hell.

Side by side in their frames of gold,
Dingy and dusty and cracked and old,
This is the solemn tale they told:

A youthful painter found one day,
In the streets of Rome, a child at play,
And, moved by the beauty it bore,
The heavenly look that its features wore,
On a canvas, radiant and grand,
He painted its face with a master hand.

Year after year on his wall it hung;
'Twas ever joyful and always young-
Driving away all thoughts of gloom
While the painter toiled in his dingy room.

Like an angel of light it met his gaze,
Bringing him dreams of his boyhood days,
Filling his soul with a sense of praise.

His raven ringlets grew thin and gray,
His young ambition all passed away;
Yet he looked for years in many a place,
To find a contrast to that sweet face.

Through haunts of vice in the night he stayed
To find some ruin that crime had made.
At last in a prison cell he caught
A glimpse of the hideous fiend he sought.

On a canvas weird and wild but grand,
He painted the face with a master hand.
His task was done; 'twas a work sublime —
An angel of joy and a fiend of crime —
A lesson of life from the wrecks of time.

O Crime: with ruin thy road is strewn;
The brightest beauty the world has known
Thy power has wasted, till in the mind
No trace of its presence is left behind.

The loathsome wretch in the dungeon low,
With a face of a fiend and a look of woe,
Ruined by revels of crime and sin,
A pitiful wreck of what might have been,
Hated and shunned, and without a home,
Was the child that played in the streets of Rome.

This has been one of my favorite poems since I first learned what poetry was.  I have had a copy at hand since I was in junior high.  I find of late that it brings to mind so many of the people that we know and meet as we pass through this life.  I hesitate to guess at how many a child is the beauty and light of his or her mothers eyes that becomes the broken loathsome person at the end of their days.  I cry at the thought of the loss of that precious child.  How is it that so many a person fail to see that God can make such a difference in their lives.  I think that this poem so clearly tells us the difference of a life with God in it and the complete loss when a life has not God in it.  Evil is the complete lack of God, a life of evil therefore must be a life of complete lack of God in it.  Oh, that the wretch would just understand that God can make a difference in a life even if ask in the last moments of life.  God gives the same salvation to the man who begins the journey to God in the youth of his life or in the agedness of his life..... tomorrow.

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