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ALFRED NOYES

b.1880

946                                                      Art

(i)

YES! Beauty still rebels!
Our dreams like clouds disperse:
      She dwells
In agate, marble, verse.
No false constraint be thine!
But, for right walking, choose
      The fine,
The strict cothurnus, Muse.
Vainly ye seek to escape
The toil! The yielding phrase
      Ye shape
Is clay, not chrysoprase.
And all in vain ye scorn
That seeming ease which neer
      Was born
Of aught but love and care.
Take up the sculptors tool!
Recall the gods that die
      To rule
In Parian oer the sky.

(ii)

Poet, let passion sleep
Till with the cosmic rhyme
      You keep
Eternal tone and time,
By rule of hour and flower,
By strength of stern restraint
      And power
To fail and not to faint.
The task is hard to learn
While all the songs of Spring
      Return
Along the blood and sing.
Yet hearfrom her deep skies,
How Art, for all your pain,
      Still cries
Ye must be born again!
Reject the wreath of rose,
Take up the crown of thorn
      That shows
To-night a child is born.
The far immortal face
In chosen onyx fine
      Enchase,
Delicate line by line.
Strive with Carrara, fight
With Parian, till there steal
      To light
Apollos pure profile.
Set the great lucid form
Free from its marble tomb
      To storm
The heights of death and doom.

Take up the sculptors tool!
Recall the gods that die
      To rule
In Parian oer the sky.

 

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