Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
Ars Victrix
Austin Dobson (1840–1921)
Imitated from Théophile Gautier
YES; when the ways oppose—
  When the hard means rebel,
Fairer the work out-grows,—
  More potent far the spell.
O Poet, then, forbear        5
  The loosely-sandalled verse,
Choose rather thou to wear
  The buskin—strait and terse;
Leave to the tiro’s hand
  The limp and shapeless style;        10
See that thy form demand
  The labor of the file.
Sculptor, do thou discard
  The yielding clay,—consign
To Paros marble hard        15
  The beauty of thy line;—
Model thy Satyr’s face
  For bronze of Syracuse;
In the veined agate trace
  The profile of thy Muse.        20
Painter, that still must mix
  But transient tints anew,
Thou in the furnace fix
  The firm enamel’s hue;
Let the smooth tile receive        25
  Thy dove-drawn Erycine;
Thy Sirens blue at eve
  Coiled in a wash of wine.
All passes. Art alone
  Enduring stays to us;        30
The Bust outlasts the throne,—
  The Coin, Tiberius;
Even the gods must go;
  Only the lofty Rhyme
Not countless years o’erthrow,—        35
  Not long array of time.
Paint, chisel, then, or write;
  But, that the work surpass,
With the hard fashion fight,—
  With the resisting mass.        40


Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.