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Opifex Analysis

Author: Poetry of Thomas Edward Brown Type: Poetry Views: 210

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As I was carving images from clouds,

And tinting them with soft ethereal dyes

Pressed from the pulp of dreams, one comes, and cries:--

"Forbear!" and all my heaven with gloom enshrouds.

"Forbear!" Thou hast no tools wherewith to essay

The delicate waves of that elusive grain:

Wouldst have due recompense of vulgar pain?

The potter's wheel for thee, and some coarse clay!

"So work, if work thou must, O humbly skilled!

Thou hast not known the Master; in thy soul

His spirit moves not with a sweet control;

Thou art outside, and art not of the guild."

Thereat I rose, and from his presence passed,

But, going, murmured:--"To the God above,

Who holds my heart, and knows its store of love,

I turn from thee, thou proud iconoclast."

Then on the shore God stooped to me, and said:--

"He spake the truth: even so the springs are set

That move thy life, nor will they suffer let,

Nor change their scope; else, living, thou wert dead.

"This is thy life: indulge its natural flow,

And carve these forms. They yet may find a place

On shelves for them reserved. In any case,

I bid thee carve them, knowing what I know."


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