Frank Dempster Sherman



by Frank Dempster Sherman

From the marble of his thought
Are the poet's fancies wrought
Into forms of symmetry,
Into rhyme and melody:
Not by any magic feat
Comes the statue forth complete;
Only patient labor, long,
Can create the perfect song;
Only love that does not tire
Can attain its high desire, --
Love that deems no gift of time
Wasted, so it win the rhyme
One elusive word to start
Life within the lyric's heart.
Still the Parthenon for us --
Jewel of Pentelicus
Fashioned centuries ago --
Shines with undiminished glow;
Still the resurrected bust,
Buried ages in the dust,
Holds to-day its honored place
By the marvel of its grace;
So the poet's song shall shine
For the jewel of one line;
So his lyric shall endure
Be the carven marble pure.
Toil he must if he would win
Heaven's gate and enter in;
Labor of a life-time give
That the sculptured verse shall live!


Lyrics For A Lute
Copyright 1890
Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin, and Company