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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

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388                        Poems


On the Italian Priesthood

(Con arte e con inganno, si vive mezzo Tanno ;
Con inganno e con arte, si vive 1'altra parte.)

In knavish art and gathering gear
They spend the one half of the year ;
In gathering gear and knavish art
They somehow spend the other part.

A Psalrn of Montreal

The City of Montreal is one of the most rising and, in
many respects, most agreeable on the American continent,
but its inhabitants are as yet too busy with commerce to
care greatly about the masterpieces of old Greek Art. In the
Montreal Museum of Natural History I came upon two
plaster casts, one of the Antinous and the other of the Dis-
cobolus—not the good one, but in my poem, of course, I
intend the good one—banished from public view to a room
where were all manner of skins, plants, snakes, insects, etc.,
and, in the middle of these, an old man stuffing an owl.

" Ah," said I, " so you have some antiques here; why
don't you put them where people can see them ? "

" Well, sir," answered the custodian, " you see they are
rather vulgar."

He then talked a great deal and said his brother did all
Mr. Spurgeon's printing.

The dialogue—perhaps true, perhaps imaginary, perhaps a
little of the one and a little of the other—between the writer
and this old man gave rise to the lines that follow :

Stowed away in a Montreal lumber room
The Discobolus standeth and turneth his face to the wall;
Dusty, cobweb-covered, maimed and set at naught,
Beauty crieth in an attic and no man regardeth :

OGod! 0 Montreal!