A Block of marble shone so white,
A Sculptor bought it, and, that night,
Said, "Now, my chisel, let′s decree:
God, tank, or table, shall it be?
"We ′ll have a god—the dream I clasp;
His hand a thunderbolt shall grasp.
Tremble, ye monarchs, ere it′s hurled!
Behold the master of the world!"
So well the patient workman wrought
In stone the vision of his thought,
The people cried at last, "Beseech
The gods to grant it power of speech!"
Some even dared the crowd to tell
That, when the chisel′s last blow fell,
The Sculptor was the first with dread
To turn away his trembling head.
The ancient poet′s not to blame,
For weak man′s terror, fear, and shame
The gods invented in each age,
Abhorring human hate and rage.
The sculptor was a child; confess,
His mind, like children′s in distress,
Tormented by this ceaseless sorrow,
His doll might angry be to-morrow.
The heart obeys its guide, the mind:
And from this source there flows, we find,
This Pagan error, which we see
Widen to all infinity.
We all embrace some favourite dream,
And follow it down flood and stream.
Pygmalion was in love, ′tis said,
With Venus that himself had made.
Each turns his dream into a truth,
And tries to fancy it all sooth.
Ice to the facts before his face,
But burning falsehood to embrace.