లారా అగుపించగానే, పాపం, ఎపెలీజ్* తన కళ్ళు నొప్పెడుతున్నాయనీ,
ఆ వెలుగుకి కళ్ళు చికిలించి చూడవలసి వస్తోందనీ ఆరోపించేడు.
ఆమె అందం అతన్ని పూర్తిగా గ్రుడ్డివాణ్ణి చేస్తుందేమోనన్న భయంతో
అతను తన కుంచెల్నీ, రంగుల పలకనీ పక్కనపెట్టేశాడు.
కానీ అందాల ఏన్ రాగానే, అతనికి చూపు తిరిగొచ్చింది
రంగుల్నీ కుంచెల్నీ క్రమపద్ధతిలో అమర్చేడు.
ఆ చిత్రకారుడు తన ప్రవృత్తిలో మునిగిపోయాడు
అంటే!బాధా, గుడ్డితనం, అన్నవి తలపులోకి రాకుండా
ఎప్పటిలా గీతలు చకచకా సాగిపోతున్నాయి …
ఆ శ్యామల చేసిన గాయాన్ని ఈ కుమిదిని మాన్పింది.
వివేకచిత్తులు నిర్ణయించాలి ఏ దండ గ్రహించయోగ్యమో:
మనిషిని హరించే అందమా,లేక మనిషిని రహించే సౌందర్యమా?
* ఎపెలీజ్ క్రీ. పూ. 4 వ శతాబ్దికి చెందిన గ్రీకు చిత్రకారుడు.
On A Painter
When Laura appeared, poor Apelles complained
That his sight was bedimmed, and his optics much pained;
So his pallet and pencil the artist resigned,
Lest the blaze of her beauty should make him quite blind.
But when fair Anne entered, the prospect was changed,
The paints and the brushes in order were ranged;
The artist resumed his employment again,
Forgetful of labour, and blindness, and pain;
And the strokes were so lively that all were assured
What the brunette had injured the fair one had cured.
Let the candid decide which the chaplet should wear,
The charms which destroy, or the charms which repair.
She can be considered as a literary curiosity. She made so great a sensation in her time, that we must not omit a notice of her in our history of American female poetry. Although the specimens we give of her talents may not be considered so wonderful as the sensation they caused. Phillis was stolen from Africa, at seven or eight years of age, carried to America, and sold in 1761 to John Wheatley, a rich merchant in Boston. She was so much loved by his family for her amiable, modest manners, her exquisite sensibility, and “extraordinary talents” that she was not only released from the labors usually devolving the slaves, but entirely free also from the cares of the household. The literary characters of the day paid her much attention, supplied her with books, and encouraged with warm approbation all her intellectual efforts; while the best society of Boston received her as equal. She was not only devoted to reading, and diligent in the study of scriptures, but she made rapid proficiency in all learning; understood Latin, and commenced translation, which was said to be very creditably done, of one of Ovid’s tales. In 1772 when only nineteen, she published a volume of Poems on various subjects, moral and religious which ran through several editions in England, and in United States. It was in England that they were first given to the world. Phillis was taken there on account of her health, which, always delicate, became at this time so feeble as to alarm her friends. In 1775, she received her freedom, and two years afterwards she married a man of color, who, in the superiority of his understanding, was also a kind of phenomenon. At first a grocer, in which business he failed, he ambitiously became a lawyer, and under the name of Dr. Peter, pleaded the cause of the Negroes, before judiciary tribunals. The reputation he enjoyed procured him fortune. He was, however, proud and indolent, and brought a good deal of unhappiness upon poor Phillis. Unfortunately, she had been a spoiled and petted child, and could not bear to turn her thoughts to household duties… Her husband required of her more than she could perform. At first he reproached, afterwards rebuked, and at last harshly and cruelly distressed her, that she could bear it no longer, but died in 1780, literally of broken heart.