Upon seeing “Louis XV of France as a Child” painted by Hyacinthe Rigaud at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

O ’tis the beauty of the art of France
To reflect regal majesty in paint,
To show the famous French-like pomp and prance;
Such beauty history could barely taint.
In Grace he sits, the child king, indeed,
Amid the rosy bourbon colored shades.
In angel-like innocence, far from greed,
With tender hand, kingship, to him he bades.
There draped in azure silken robes he rests;
The blue against the christen’d pearly white,
There stamped with golden lilies of the crest
Of Louis’ house enveloped in the light
His grandfather shined on the monarchy.
O ’tis the feel of art done properly.

O ’tis the feel of art done properly,
When one can sense the chance of something great,
Though plagued by blackness of his history,
The child-king did grow in France to hate.
He sits upon the royal throne in ease,
His feet upon the cushion, soft as air.
His state left rotting, dying in disease,
For as a King he never left the chair.
He sat there as a kid so fresh and free,
Yet left his ministers to tend the day,
And in his reign deflowered the lily,
As Dante, greatest poet, once did say.
Even in your beloved royal blue,
Your blackened reputation does shine through.

Your blackened reputation does shine through,
Though in the painting time indeed stands still.
For in this guise, lost innocence crowns you,
Though history, your image, tried to kill.
For as I look upon your youthful face
I see a boy with prospects to be great.
A king who could have ruled so just with grace,
A man with holy fire to orate.
The beauty of this art to steal a frame
From time’s long everlasting loop of years,
To lock in crystal lost potential fame;
A child king there raised above his peers.
O yes your painting leaves me here in trance,
O ’tis the beauty of the art of France.

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