Locksley Hall Sixty Years After by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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"Paint The Mortal Shame Of Nature With The Living Hues Of Art"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: An old man talks to his grandson on the grounds of their ancestral estate. The nearby chapel containing the body of the founder of the family inspires him to compare the present age with former times, when men lived within a moral code and served, in thought and action, the order of goodness they saw in the cosmos. But the present times have decayed, he says, and now men are faithless, self-serving, and corrupt. The writers of the time have decayed with their society and now delight in vividly portraying all the varieties of human vice, all the crimes men commit against nature.

Authors–essayist, atheist, novelist, realist, rhymester, play your part,
Paint the mortal shame of nature with the living hues of art.
Rip your brothers' vices open, strip your own foul passions bare;
Down with Reticence, down with Reverence,–forward–naked–let them stare.