[Waring, John Burley]. "Pre-Raffaelite Chorus." Poems Inspired by Certain Pictures at the Art Treasures Exhibition, Manchester, by Tennyson Lonfellow Smith, of Cripplegate Within, Edited by his Friend, the Author of "Thorns and Thistles." Illustrated by the Hon. Botibol Bareacres, and Dedicated, with Profound Admiration and Awe, to the Greatest of Modern Poets, Philosophers, Artists, Art-Critics, and Authors, the Immortal Buskin. [sold at the bookstall of the Exhibition]: Manchester, 1857: 18-19.


Pre-Raffaelite Chorus

Air:-- "The One-Horse Chaise."

Oh, we live in wretched days, there are few whom we can praise,
Save the happy band of brothers who "Pre-Raffaelleite" are called;
All the rest will come to grief, with no hope of relief,
And by our prophet, Buskin, will be regularly mauled.
Still no more will we say, of the painters of to-day,
Who, if they only join our ranks, may yet perhaps be saved;
But for Raffaelle and his crew, we will pink them through and through,
And Buskin's name in blood upon their souls shall be engraved.

That Raffaelle was a fool, like all others of his school,
Without sentiment or soul,a sensual heathen brute;
But although he has a name, yet Buskin soon his fame
Shall scratch and tear to tatters, and trample under foot.

As for wretched Buonarotti, so contorted, coarse, and dotty,
Such a humbug diabolical has never yet been known;
An emissary from Hades, from whom gentlemen and ladies
Should turn in proper horror, and entirely disown!

There's that satyr, J. Romano; that immoral Tiziano;
Giorgione, Tintoretto, Guido, demons, one and all,
Whom we loathe, abhor, detest; and we swear to take no rest
Till we dance upon their monuments, both great and small.

Oh, Rembrandt's simply bosh; and Ruben's actual slosh;
And those who dare say otherwise are fools, and dogs, and slaves.
Vandyke, Ostade, and Snyders, with the squad of Dutch outsiders,
Were a set of heartless, pagan, drunken, muddle-headed knaves.

As for poor old Claude Lorraine, Buskin makes it very plain
That a muff more unartistic we couldn't well conceive;
Whilst dull Salvator Rosa is a "maladetta cosa,"
And they and all who follow them are doomed without reprieve.

The Poussins and Le Brun, we will show you very soon,
Were nothing more than pagans of the deepest, blackest dye,
In fact, throughout the century, to take an oath we venture, ye
Will find no Christian sentiment, or anything that's high.

And evcry single Spaniard is ridiculously mannered;
Velasques and Murillio, with Zurbaran as well;
Old Cano and El Greco, would a pretty party make, oh
In a place that mayn't be mentioned, as I need not tell.

In that place they all have got, let us hope, a fiery lot,
For the dark artistic crimes which they committed here on earth,
Whilst we shout with might and main, till the heavens vibrate again,
That High Art in Great Britain has at last been brought to birth.

And Buskin swears that now, if your knee you do not bow,
And humbly, to the Genius of this Infant so divine,
He will give you such a slashing,such a mashing, crashing, thrashing,
As befits a set of donkeys, or a herd of filthy swine.

So, you see, we must be right; and, having put you in a fright,
Go, burn your stupid ancient daubs and come to us to school;
Then perhaps you may, some day, find out the proper way
To look on Art and Nature, and cease to be a fool.



See the illustration that accompanies this poem.


This document was scanned/transcribed from the original source.

Copyright © 1997 Thomas J. Tobin.

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