The Sculptor's Vision
A sculptor musing sat one eve,
When crimson clouds began to weave
Their sunset drapery in the sky;
Cold was his studio and bare,
But golden sunbeams lingered there,
And robins caroling flew by.
A vision on his dreaming broke;
With parted lips and eyes that spoke,
A statue stood of beauty rare,
And chiseled with such exquisite care,
It seemed no mortal hand had share
In what was like embodied prayer.
The sculptor woke to find his dream
Of loveliness was but a gleam
Of what the future might unfold;
And then resolved to labor late,
Until his work his dream could mate,
And daily carved with joy untold.
But sometimes sorrow mingled there,
For naught he fashioned could compare
With that chaste form which ev'ry night,
Would come to give him impulse new,
To bid him seek the pure, the true,
And lead him to a clearer light.
Nor wrought the sculptor all in vain;
The statue grew despite his pain,
In curves of beauty, strength and grace;
7And so he loved his magic art,
His very soul seemed to impart
A something human to the face.
Yet was the vision fairer still;
Its subtle presence seemed to fill
The space before his troubled gaze.
It beckoned him to heights unknown,
And charmed him like the undertone
That floats through many olden lays.
And on he toiled from hour to hour,
Exerting all his skill and pow'r,
With fondest love and trust and prayer;
But as the work in beauty grew,
Strange longing haunted him anew:
For lo! his ideal was more fair.
As in his strife, is it not thus
That we are baffled, all of us,
In seeking clearer, truer light?
Then let us, like the sculptor, still
Pursue our toil with deathless will,
Advancing toward a glorious height.
And when our ideal grows more fair,
More earnest should be all our care
To carve with added grace and skill;
And then the task that we pursue,
Will serve to give us impulse new,
Our souls with calm content to fill.