Mettus Curtius

Image: Bacchiacca (?), Marcus Curtius (c.1520). Oil on wood. 25.4 x 19.4 cm. The National Gallery, London, 1860. http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/possibly-by-bacchiacca-marcus-curtius, 22 September 2015.

Unknown

The National Gallery
 

HE comes from yonder castle on the steep,
No Roman, but a lovely Christian knight,
With azure vest and florid mantle bright,
Blown, golden hair and youthful face flushed deep
For glory in the triumph of the leap.

Though his mild, amber horse rears back at sight
Of the red flames, though poised for thrust his right
Hand grasps a knife, his countenance doth keep
Soft as Saint Michael's with the devil at bay.
So sweet it is to cast one's life away
In the fresh pride and perfume of its breath !
He smiles to think how soon the cleft will close :
And see, a sun-brimmed cloud above him throws
Its white effulgence, as he fares to death.

 

Unknown

The National Gallery
 

HE comes from yonder castle on the steep,
No Roman, but a lovely Christian knight,
With azure vest and florid mantle bright,
Blown, golden hair and youthful face flushed deep
For glory in the triumph of the leap.

Though his mild, amber horse rears back at sight
Of the red flames, though poised for thrust his right
Hand grasps a knife, his countenance doth keep
Soft as Saint Michael's with the devil at bay.
So sweet it is to cast one's life away
In the fresh pride and perfume of its breath !
He smiles to think how soon the cleft will close :
And see, a sun-brimmed cloud above him throws
Its white effulgence, as he fares to death.