My Portrait Gallery

OFT round my hall of portraiture I gaze,
By Memory reared, the artist wise and holy,
From stainless quarries of deep-buried days.
There, as I muse in soothing melancholy,
Your faces glow in more than mortal youth,
Companions of my prime, now vanished wholly,-
The loud, impetuous boy, the low-voiced maiden.
Ah, never master that drew mortal breath
Can match thy portraits, just and generous Death,
Whose brush with sweet regretful tints is laden !
Thou paintest that which struggled here below
Half understood, or understood for woe,
And, with a sweet forewarning,
Mak’st round the sacred front an aureole glow
Woven of that light that rose on Easter morning.