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A Canvas For A Crust

 Aye, Montecelli, that's the name.
You may have heard of him perhaps.
Yet though he never savoured fame, Of those impressionistic chaps, Monet and Manet and Renoir He was the avatar.
He festered in a Marseilles slum, A starving genius, god-inspired.
You'd take him for a lousy bum, Tho' poetry of paint he lyred, In dreamy pastels each a gem: .
How people laughed at them! He peddled paint from bar to bar; From sordid rags a jewel shone, A glow of joy and colour far From filth of fortune woe-begone.
'Just twenty francs,' he shyly said, 'To take me drunk to bed.
' Of Van Gogh and Cezanne a peer; In dreams of ecstasy enskied, A genius and a pioneer, Poor, paralysed and mad he died: Yet by all who hold Beauty dear May he be glorified!

by Robert William Service
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