Saint Sebastian

Image: 

Antonio Allegri da Correggio, Madonna and Child with St. Sebastian (ca.1524). Oil on board. Unknown dimensions. Private Collection. http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/detail.php?ID=37837, 15 September 2015.

Correggio

The Dresden Gallery
 

BOUND by thy hands, but with respect unto thine eyes how free— 
Fixed on Madonna, seeing all that they were born to see ! 
The Child thine upward face hath sighted, 
Still and delighted ; 
Oh, bliss when with mute rites two souls are plighted ! 

As the young aspen-leaves rejoice, though to the stem held tight,
In the soft visit of the air, the current of the light, 
Thou hast the peril of a captive's chances, 
Thy spirit dances, 
Caught in the play of Heaven's divine advances. 

While cherubs straggle on the clouds of luminous, curled fire, 
The Babe looks through them, far below, on thee with soft desire. 
Most clear of bond must they be reckoned— 
No joy is second 
To theirs whose eyes by other eyes are beckoned. 

Though arrows rain on breast and throat they have no power to hurt, 
While thy tenacious face they fail an instant to avert. 
Oh might my eyes, so without measure, 
Feed on their treasure, 
The world with thong and dart might do its pleasure ! 

 

Correggio

The Dresden Gallery
 

BOUND by thy hands, but with respect unto thine eyes how free— 
Fixed on Madonna, seeing all that they were born to see ! 
The Child thine upward face hath sighted, 
Still and delighted ; 
Oh, bliss when with mute rites two souls are plighted ! 

As the young aspen-leaves rejoice, though to the stem held tight,
In the soft visit of the air, the current of the light, 
Thou hast the peril of a captive's chances, 
Thy spirit dances, 
Caught in the play of Heaven's divine advances. 

While cherubs straggle on the clouds of luminous, curled fire, 
The Babe looks through them, far below, on thee with soft desire. 
Most clear of bond must they be reckoned— 
No joy is second 
To theirs whose eyes by other eyes are beckoned. 

Though arrows rain on breast and throat they have no power to hurt, 
While thy tenacious face they fail an instant to avert. 
Oh might my eyes, so without measure, 
Feed on their treasure, 
The world with thong and dart might do its pleasure !