To Rembrandt

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To Rembrandt: Occasioned by his picture of "Jacob's Dream."  (1850) 
by Washington Allston
From Lectures on Art, and Poems

  As in that twilight, superstitious age
When all beyond the narrow grasp of mind
Seem'd fraught with meanings of supernal kind,
  When e'en the learned, philosophic sage,
Wont with the stars through boundless space to range,
  Listen'd with reverence to the changeling's tale;
E'en so, thou strangest of all beings strange!
  E'en so, thy visionary scenes I hail;
That like the rambling of an idiot's speech,
  No image giving of a thing on earth,
Nor thought significant in Reason's reach,
  Yet, in their random shadowings give birth
To thoughts and things from other worlds that come,
And fill the soul, and strike the reason dumb.


This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.