My dear Andersen,
I have only this moment received the portrait of my statuette of Beethoven, and without waiting to have it placed on a card I send it as it is, lest it might otherwise arrive too late. It has the defect of representing the figure altogether too squat, but such as it is I beg your acceptance of it as a little record of my studio.
Herewith I also send you some lines for your album - and am only sorry they are not much better.
I hope I shall have the good luck to meet you before you take flight northwards, but in case I should miss you let me here say Goodbye and God Speed - I have had great pleasure in making your acquaintance, and shall hope to meet you again here ar elsewhere. Meantime please continue to write more and more of your charming stories and delight the world, - and one of your most charmed listeners will be
Yours most faithfully
W. W. Story.
Rome, May 27, 1861.
TO HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN
There are who, sweetened by the lapse of time,
Preserve their childhood in their manhood's prime
Those hearts a long St. Martin's season know,
Where lingering memories of summer blow
Through autumn days and keep alive the flowers
And joys and bird-songs of those vanished hours -
Happy are they! - Yet happier those to whom
God gives the power within Art's magic loom
To weave the blooming figures of their Youth
In the firm web of Wisdom and of Truth,
To charm the Young and paint no less for Age
The illuminated letters on life's page
Friend of the Children, - (and thou hast the dower
To make all children by thy genial power)
Our laurel crown we bring, while on thy brow
With joyous laugh their little hands shall throw
A wreath of rose-buds tumed with lily-bells
For him who wise and wondrous stories tells -
W. W. Story.
Rome, May 26th, 1861.