Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MAD SCULPTOR, by WILLIAM ROSE BENET



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THE MAD SCULPTOR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Far up in the quarry / I hewed a stone for pure delight
Last Line: And reaches me his hands!
Subject(s): Art & Artists; Sculpture & Sculptors; Statues; Stones; Granite; Rocks


Far up in the quarry
I hewed a stone for pure delight,—
Far up in the quarry that's gashed in the mountainside.
I chipped the stone and the flakes flew white.
I thought a wonder dazzling bright.
I caught my dream in a grasp of might
And wrought it wild with pride.

Sun blazed o'er the quarry.
The sweat was on my shoulders wet.
Over me hung the forest that manes the mountainside.
I flung my strength on the stubborn stone.
I wrung at length from the stubborn stone
A strong king on a granite throne
Clung by his glorious bride.

His face shone in the quarry.
Above her grace, a granite face,—
Rock of the rocky quarry—a king on the mountainside.
I carved her drapery every fold.
I scarved her shoulders, struck to gold,
I starved for her face till Time grew old
And faltered in its tide.

The light failed in the quarry,
And in my breast the passion ceased.
The light failed in the quarry; it failed from the mountainside.
But I at length had wrought alone
Beauty and strength so wed in stone—
My eyes went blind. I stumbled prone,
And cared not if I died!

Far up in the quarry
Night and the stars are over me!
Far up in the quarry my glimmering sculpture stands.
Though I be dead, yet verily
The sculptor of Eternity
Stands in the starlight over me
And reaches me his hands!





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