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[117]

The legend of St. Mark.

‘This legend [to which my attention was called by my friend Charles Sumner], is the subject of a celebrated picture by Tintoretto, of which Mr. Rogers possesses the original sketch. The slave lies on the ground, amid a crowd of spectators, who look on, animated by all the various emotions of sympathy, rage, terror; a woman, in front, with a child in her arms, has always been admired for the lifelike vivacity of her attitude and expression. The executioner holds up the broken implements; St. Mark, with a headlong movement, seems to rush down from heaven in haste to save his worshipper. The dramatic grouping in this picture is wonderful; the coloring, in its gorgeous depth and harmony, is, in Mr. Rogers's sketch, finer than in the picture.’ —Mrs. Jame-son's Sacred and Legendary Art, i. 154.

the day is closing dark and cold,
     With roaring blast and sleety showers;
And through the dusk the lilacs wear
     The bloom of snow, instead of flowers.

I turn me from the gloom without,
     To ponder o'er a tale of old;
A legend of the age of Faith,
     By dreaming monk or abbess told.

On Tintoretto's canvas lives
     That fancy of a loving heart,
In graceful lines and shapes of power,
     And hues immortal as his art.

In Provence (so the story runs)
     There lived a lord, to whom, as slave,
A peasant-boy of tender years
     The chance of trade or conquest gave.

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