Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ART, by THEOPHILE GAUTIER



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First Line: All things are doubly fair
Last Line: On the unyielding flint.
Alternate Author Name(s): Theo, Le Bon
Subject(s): Art & Artists


All things are doubly fair
If patience fashion them
And care --
Verse, enamel, marble, gem.

No idle chains endure:
Yet, Muse, to walk aright,
Lace tight
Thy buskin proud and sure.

Fie on a facile measure,
A shoe where every lout
At pleasure
Slips his foot in and out!

Sculptor, lay by the clay
On which thy nerveless finger
May linger,
Thy thoughts flown far away.

Keep to Carrara rare,
Struggle with Paros cold,
That hold
The subtle line and fair.

Lest haply nature lose
That proud, that perfect line,
Make thine
The bronze of Syracuse.

And with a tender dread
Upon an agate's face
Retrace
Apollo's golden head.

Despise a watery hue
And tints that soon expire.
With fire
Burn thine enamel true.

Twine, twine in artful wise
The blue-green mermaid's arms,
Mid charms
Of thousand heraldries.

Show in their triple lobe
Virgin and Child, that hold
Their globe,
Cross-crowned and aureoled.

—All things return to dust
Save beauties fashioned well.
The bust
Outlasts the citadel.

Oft doth the plowman's heel,
Breaking an ancient clod,
Reveal
A Caesar or a god.

The gods, too, die, alas!
But deathless and more strong
Than brass
Remains the sovereign song.

Chisel and carve and file,
Till thy vague dream imprint
Its smile
On the unyielding flint.






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