Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
 
Enamoured Architect of Airy Rhyme
By Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836–1907)
 
ENAMOURED architect of airy rhyme,
Build as thou wilt; heed not what each man says.
Good souls, but innocent of dreamers’ ways,
Will come, and marvel why thou wastest time;
Others, beholding how thy turrets climb        5
’Twixt theirs and heaven, will hate thee all their days:
But most beware of those who come to praise.
O Wondersmith, O worker in sublime
And heaven-sent dreams, let art be all in all;
Build as thou wilt, unspoiled by praise or blame,        10
Build as thou wilt, and as thy light is given:
Then, if at last the airy structure fall,
Dissolve, and vanish—take thyself no shame.
They fail, and they alone, who have not striven.
 
 
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