Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume II/James McNeill Whistler
JAMES McNEILL WHISTLER
GREATEST of modern painters, he is dead!—
Whistler, in whom death seemed to have no part:
He of the nimble wit and jocund heart,
Who sipped youth's nectar at the fountain-head,
And felt its wine through all his veins run red:
Who worshiped the ideal—not the mart,
And blessed the world with an imperial Art,
Whereby who longs for beauty may be fed!
When things men deem momentous are forgot,
Laurels will bloom for him that wither not;
And Death's inverted torch shall fail to smother
The light of genius, tender and sublime,
Which with austere restraint, and for all time,
Painted the gentle portrait of the "Mother"!