April 07, 2009

A Story Of Two Pictures (A Re-Post)

The part of history that I read concerning the Apache warrior, Gernonimo, was sad, to me. When I posted that, I, obviously, was unaware of another part of his history depicting the heinousness of his treatment of his captives. I know that he went after his enemies with a vengeance because of what happened to his wife, children, and mother, and I don't know how to evaluate that.

Why do any of us do the things that we do, that go against the values and morals of another? I think in the grand scheme of things that the choices we make in our lives are greatly influenced by past circumstances, whether good or bad. That said, it is still our choice to make.

It could be said that our environment has everything to do with what we become, but if that were completely true, I would hate to think of where, or what, I would be now.

Thinking about all of that reminded me of this poem:

A Story of Two Pictures

Two pictures hung on the dingy wall
Of a grand old Florentine hall-

One of a child of beauty rare,
With a cherub face and golden hair;
The lovely look of whose radiant eyes
Filled the soul with thoughts of Paradise.

The other was a visage vile
Marked with the lines of lust and guile,
A loathsome being, whose features fell
Brought to the soul weird thoughts of hell.

Side by side in their frames of gold,
Dingy and dusty and cracked and old,
This is the solemn tale they told;

A youthful painter found one day,
In the streets of Rome, a child at play,
And, moved by the beauty it bore,
The heavenly look that its features wore,
On a canvas, radiant and grand,
He painted its face with a master hand.

Year after year on his wall it hung;
'Twas ever joyful and always young-
Driving away all thoughts of gloom
While the painter toiled in his dingy room.

Like an angel of light it met his gaze,
Bringing him dreams of his boyhood days,
Filling his soul with a sense of praise.

His raven ringlets grew thin and gray,
His young ambition all passed away;
Yet he looked for years in many a place,
To find a contrast to that sweet face.

Through haunts of vice in the night he stayed
To find some ruin that crime had made.
At last in a prison cell he caught
A glimpse of the hideous fiend he sought.

On a canvas weird and wild but grand,
He painted the face with a master hand.

His task was done;'twas a work sublime-
An angel of joy and a fiend of crime-
A lesson of life from the wrecks of time.

O crime: with ruin thy road is strewn;
The brightest beauty the world has known
Thy power has wasted, till in the mind
No trace of its prescence is left behind.

The loathsome wretch in the dungeon low,
With a face of a fiend and a look of woe,
Ruined by revels of crime and sin,
A pitiful wreck of what might have been,
Hated and shunned, and without a home,
Was the child that played in the streets of Rome.

Origin and Author Unknown

*I posted this, originally, in 2007. It seems that I have come to a stand-still when it comes to writing anything worthwhile, lately. I hope you all can bear with me, until I can get back into the swing of things.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jan,

That is quite alright as a matter of fact a repost like this is a great idea. For us newcomers like myself, Roxi, Don, etc. it is all new to us! Thank you! We will be here reading your posts everyday!!

povertyflatsusa said...

Jan, please don't downplay your creativity. There is so much more to life than politics. Your articles are such a blessing to everyone who visits your blog. I for one enjoy the political insight you share on your blog, but I am equally blessed by the humorous posts and the ones such as you wrote today.
I have, over the years read a great deal about the Apache chief Geronimo. White man's history portrays him as a blood thirsty savage with no regard for human life. Military history portrays him as a brilliant strategist and general. He had enemies even among his own Apache people. Geronimo was so feared, even by the white soldiers that when finally defeated and captured, he was locked in chains and shackles and kept that way all throughout the long journey from Arizona to the military prison in South Florida where he would spend the rest of his life. Was history correct in it's description of him? I guess it depends on which side of the fence one is standing on. There were other Apache leaders who lead their people to a more peaceful co-existence in the white-man's world.
It is an interesting subject for study in any case. Being of strong Cherokee heritage as was my wife (myself of the Eastern band, and her of the Missouri- Arkansas band) it has always been a popular subject in our home.
Anyway, just thought I would comment, didn't intend to get carried away. Have a great spring day. DM

Jan said...

Bill..thank you so much.

Maybe I will do a series of reposts...probably not that many will remember them from the first time, anyway! LOL

Jan said...

DM..thank you for the very kind words.

My maternal grandmother was Cherokee, too, originally from Tennessee.

Maybe my next repost will be about her..my Big Mama. :)

Linda G. said...

Jan, I did remember this because it made a real impression on me, but I was glad to read it again and it struck me with equal force. Thanks for posting it again:)

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Jan said...

Anonymous..thank you for for the kind words.

They are much appreciated! :)

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