George Frederic Watts
British, 1817 - 1904
The Eve of Peace
Canon Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley wrote a sonnet inspired by this painting after visiting an exhibition of Watts' works. The sonnet was published in 'The Studio' ('Studio Talk' section of Vol. 10 No. 48 March, 1897).
There in Arts' Palace hall I found portrayed
Time, Death and Judgment, mute Oblivion,
Strong Love that led the frail life gently on,
And one to whom glad homage all men paid;
There at Life's house, his wings sorely frayed,
Stood Love at fence with Death, but tho' Death won,
By forceful forward step, dominion,
He could not cast Love wholly into shade.
There kingly souls looked out from noble eyes,
Each speaking clear some individual word,
There while Hope sang beneath a single star
And Eve repentant wept in Paradise,
I saw a grave knight lean upon his sword,
And golden twilight brought the end of war.
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