The Whisper of the Muse / Portrait of G.F. Watts; Julia Margaret Cameron, British, born India, 1815 – 1879; Freshwater, England, Europe; April 1865; Albumen silver print; Image: 26 x 21.4 cm (10 1/4 x 8 7/16 in.), Mount: 33.8 x 28.2 cm (13 5/16 x 11 1/8 in.); 84.XZ.186.96


With his violin bow in hand, the man plays
Then stops, listens to his whispering muse.
Where others were entranced, he breaks and weighs.
His face solemn in thought; much less enthuse
Resembling a wilting flower head drooped
For all the world looks a man who’s been, duped.

He’s old, and he has passed this way before,
He knows off by heart, the music his soul-
Has sealed inside, and like green Hellebore
In winter time, his head will rise and roll
And the blood of Christ, a clap of thunder
Makes all bolt up straight in awe, and wonder.

© 2017, Mark Heathcote

The Whisper of the Muse, photograph of the portrait courtesy of University of Oxford, History of Art at Oxford University

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