Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Antwerp)

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“Messieurs, le Dieu des peintres”: We felt odd:
'Twas Rubens, sculptured. A mean florid church
Was the next thing we saw,—from vane to porch
His drivel. The museum: as we trod
Its steps, his bust held us at bay. The clod
Has slosh by miles along the wall within.
(“I say, I somehow feel my gorge begin
To rise.”)—His chair in a glass case, by God!
. . . To the Cathedral. Here too the vile snob
Has fouled in every corner. (“Wherefore brave
Our fate? Let's go.”) There is a monument
We pass. “Messieurs, you tread upon the grave
Of the great Rubens.” “Well, that's one good job!
What time this evening is the train for Ghent?”

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Dante Gabriel Rossetti