Lonely Connoisseur

photograph

A Connoisseur, Possibly Lonely (photograph of Bernard Berenson)

I was born of honest parents in that land across the sea.
They taught me how to read and write and learn my grammarie.
But cruel oppression drove us out, when I was only four.
We left our village life behind and came to Boston’s shore.

It was as a Harvard student that first I looked on art;
It was as a Harvard student that first I lost my heart.
But for me no banns in Boston, the place I then called home,
For she was bound to another, and I was bound for Rome.

Chorus:
Where I traded my heart for a Titian.
I traded my heart for the halls
Of bidding and buying and endless supplying
Of paintings for others to hang on their walls.
Yes, I traded my heart for a Rubens,
I went where the Raphaels were,
But sometimes I can’t bear it,
There’s no one to share it,
I’m a lonely connoisseur.

I saw the great museums of England and of France
I felt the pictures cast their spell, the Renaissance entrance,
I made my home in Florence, where great painting got its start.
Where others live to eat but I — I live to worship art.

Where I traded my heart for a Titian.
I traded my heart for the halls
Of bidding and buying and endless supplying
Of paintings for others to hang on their walls.
Yes, I traded my heart for a Rubens,
I went where the Raphaels were,
But sometimes I can’t bear it,
There’s no one to share it,
I’m a lonely connoisseur.

©2012 Ajemian and Newcomb

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