Frank Dempster Sherman


On A Greek Vase

by Frank Dempster Sherman

Divinely shapen cup, thy lip
Unto me seemeth thus to speak:
Behold in me the workmanship,
The grace and cunning of a Greek!

Long ages since he mixed the clay,
Whose sense of symmetry was such,
The labor of a single day
Immortal grew beneath his touch.

For dreaming while his fingers went
Around this slender neck of mine,
The form of her he loved was blent
With every matchless curve and line.

Her loveliness to me he gave
Who gave unto herself his heart,
That love and beauty from the grave
Might rise and live again in art.

And hearing from thy lips this tale
Of love and skill, of art and grace,
Thou seem'st to me no more the frail
Memento of an older race:

But in thy form divinely wrought
And figured o'er with fret and scroll,
I dream, by happy chance was caught,
And dwelleth now, that maiden's soul.


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