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Poem by Henry Austin Dobson


Ars Victrix


YES; when the ways oppose
When the hard means rebel,
Fairer the work out-grows,
More potent far the spell.

O Poet, then, forbear
The loosely-sandalled verse,
Choose rather thou to wear
The buskinstrait and terse;

Leave to the tiros hand
The limp and shapeless style;
See that thy form demand
The labor of the file.

Sculptor, do thou discard
The yielding clay,consign
To Paros marble hard
The beauty of thy line;

Model thy Satyrs face
For bronze of Syracuse;
In the veined agate trace
The profile of thy Muse.

Painter, that still must mix
But transient tints anew,
Thou in the furnace fix
The firm enamels hue;

Let the smooth tile receive
Thy dove-drawn Erycine;
Thy Sirens blue at eve
Coiled in a wash of wine.

All passes. Art alone
Enduring stays to us;
The Bust outlasts the throne,
The Coin, Tiberius;

Even the gods must go;
Only the lofty Rhyme
Not countless years oerthrow,
Not long array of time.

Paint, chisel, then, or write;
But, that the work surpass,
With the hard fashion fight,
With the resisting mass. 



Henry Austin Dobson


Henry Austin Dobson's other poems:
  1. On a Nankin Plate
  2. The Passionate Printer to His Love
  3. On the Future of Poetry
  4. For a Copy of Theocritus
  5. Incognita


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