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ARS VICTRIX (IMITATED FROM THEOPHILE GAUTIER), by             Poem Explanation     Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Yes; when the ways oppose
Last Line: With the resisting mass.
Alternate Author Name(s): Dobson, Austin
Subject(s): Art & Artists

YES; when the ways oppose --
When the hard means rebel,
Fairer the work out-grows, --
More potent far the spell.

O POET, then, forbear
The loosely-sandalled verse,
Choose rather thou to wear
The buskin -- strait and terse;

Leave to the tiro's hand
The limp and shapeless style,
See that thy form demand
The labour of the file.

SCULPTOR, do thou discard
The yielding clay, -- consign
To Paros marble hard
The beauty of thy line; --

Model thy Satyr's face
For bronze of Syracuse;
In the veined agate trace
The profile of thy Muse.

PAINTER, that still must mix
But transient tints anew,
Thou in the furnace fix
The firm enamel's hue;

Let the smooth tile receive
Thy dove-drawn Erycine;
Thy Sirens blue at eve
Coiled in a wash of wine.

All passes. ART alone
Enduring stays to us;
The Bust outlasts the throne, --
The Coin, Tiberius;

Even the gods must go;
Only the lofty Rhyme
Not countless years o'erthrow, --
Not long array of time.

Paint, chisel, then, or write;
But, that the work surpass,
With the hard fashion fight, --
With the resisting mass.

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