"The lights and shades, in contrast due, / Relieve each other in the view: / Alike the moral painter's part / T'obey the rules of studious art; / Thus to attract the mental eye / With height'ning variety;-- / And as the pencil truly gives / Each form that on the canvas lives, / To make his pen adopt the plan, / In picturing the mind of man."
— Combe, William (1742 -1823)
The changeful state and powers of man:
Each various being will display
Inform'd with Life and Reason's ray;
And his weak, feebler force combine
With strength and energy divine.
He views him groveling, sad and low,
The child of misery and woe:
Anon he sees him rich and great,
Clothed in the plenitude of state.
The lights and shades, in contrast due,
Relieve each other in the view:
Alike the moral painter's part
T'obey the rules of studious art;
Thus to attract the mental eye
With height'ning variety;--
And as the pencil truly gives
Each form that on the canvas lives,
To make his pen adopt the plan,
In picturing the mind of man.
Oft must he quit the tow'ring aim
Of wisdom, and the boast of fame
To view the sport where folly plays
And courts the flatt'rer's empty praise.
The labourer who tills the soil,
Whose bread is gain'd by daily toil;
The humble home within the dale,
Which no rude storms of Life assail,
Present their subjects to the eye,
As chance unfolds the scenery.
The lofty turrets too must share
His contemplation's watchful care,
Where the old halls with banners gay,
The pride of ancient times display:
He too, in modern domes will trace
Bright Fashion's more luxuriant grace:
While at the costly sumptuous board,
Some Dives rules, the pamper'd Lord:
But even there the eye may see
The heaven-born form of Charity:
E'en in those scenes where lux'ry reigns,
The ear attends when man complains.
In ev'ry corner of our Isle
The kind and healing virtues smile;
And pining penury commands
The melting hearts, the op'ning hands:
There, if a Lazarus asks for bread,
The humble mendicant is fed.