Saturday, September 15, 2007

The King's Picture

I love this because it is a beautiful reminder of the fact that we are every one of us made in His image and, for that reason, if no other, we are all precious in His sight...

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."
-Helen L.B. Bostwick
-Seize The Day!

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