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And now had the artist a picture begun,
'Twas over the Virgin's church door ; She stood on the Dragon embracing her Son, Many Devils already the artist had done,
But this must out-do all before.
The Old Dragon's imps as they fled through the air,
At seeing it paused on the wing; For he had the likeness so just to a hair, That they came as Apollyon himself had been there,
To pay their respects to their King.
Every child at beholding it shiver'd with dread,
And scream'd as he turn'd away quick. Not an old woman saw it, but, raising her head, Dropt a bead, made a cross on her wrinkles, and said,
Lord keep me from ugly Old Nick!
What the Painter so earnestly thought on by day,
He sometimes would dream of by night ; But once he was startled as sleeping he lay; 'Twas no fancy, no dream, he could plainly survey
That the Devil himself was in sight.
“ You rascally dauber !" old Beelzebub cries,
“ Take heed how you wrong me again! Though your caricatures for myself I despise, Make me handsomer now in the multitude's eyes,
Or see if I threaten in vain!"
Now the Painter was bold, and religious beside,
And on faith he had certain reliance. So carefully he the grim countenance eyed, And thank'd him for sitting with Catholic pride,
And sturdily bade him defiance. .
Betimes in the morning the Painter arose,
He is ready as soon as 'tis light. Every look, every line, every feature he knows, 'Tis fresh in his eye, to his labour he goes,
And he has the old Wicked One quite.
Happy man! he is sure the resemblance can't fail ;
The tip of the nose is red-hot, There's his grin and his fangs, his skin cover'd with
.: scale, And that the identical curl of his tail,..
Not a mark, not a claw, is forgot.
He looks and retouches again with delight ;
'Tis a portrait complete to his mind! He touches again, and again gluts his sight; He looks round for applause, and he sees with affright
The Original standing behind.
“ Fool! Idiot !” old Beelzebub grinn’d as he spoke,
And stampt on the scaffold in ire. The Painter grew pale, for he knew it no joke, 'Twas a terrible height, and the scaffolding broke,
The Devil could wish it no higher.
“ Help..help me! O Mary!” he cried in alarm,
As the scaffold sunk under his feet.
The Old Dragon fled when the wonder he spied,
And cursed his own fruitless endeavour ; While the Painter call’d after his rage to deride, Shook his pallet and brushes in triumph and cried,
“ I'll paint thee more ugly than ever !"
THE PIOUS PAINTER.
THE SECOND PART. '
The Painter so pious all praise had acquired
For defying the malice of Hell ; The monks the unerring resemblance admired; Not a Lady lived near but her portrait desired
From one who succeeded so well.
One there was to be painted the number among
Of features most fair to behold; The country around of fair Marguerite rung, Marguerite she was lovely and lively and young,
Her husband was ugly and old.