Washington Allston

To My Venerable Friend, The President Of The Royal Academy

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From one unused in pomp of words to raise
A courtly monument of empty praise,
Where self, transpiring through the flimsy pile,
Betrays the builder's ostentatious guile,
Accept, O West, these unaffected lays,
Which genius claims and grateful justice pays.
Still green in age, thy vigorous powers impart
The youthful freshness of a blameless heart:
For thine, unaided by another's pain,
The wiles of envy, or the sordid train
Of selfishness, has been the manly race
Of one who felt the purifying grace
Of honest fame; nor found the effort vain
E'en for itself to love thy soul-ennobling art.

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Washington Allston