Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO RODIN, by CHARLES WHARTON STORK

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TO RODIN, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Smooth-browed they stand, these marble forms of old
Last Line: That strains toward god through clinging veils of stone.
Subject(s): Rodin, Auguste (1840-1917)

(On seeing one of his statues in a group of Grecian masterpieces)

Smooth-browed they stand, these marble forms of old,
Olympianly serene, without a trace
Of all the throes that won their tranquil grace;
They view mankind with looks aloof and cold.
For though their glorious limbs retain the mould
Of mortal beauty, they admit no place
To struggling imperfection, -- every face
A snow-pure height that cloudless beams enfold.

Not so, brave master, was your vision wrought.
That glance of blinded ecstasy has known
The spasms of despair; that breast, still caught
In swathes of rock, still breathes a mighty groan.
There throbs the beauty of a poet's thought
That strains toward God through clinging veils of stone.

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