Mute and unshaped, in marble hills,
Are untouched Mercurys lying,
Fairer of form, with power more rife
Than gladiators dying.
Has sculptor cut a Venus face,
Or shaped a warrior's bust?
The dream undreamed is fairer yet
Than these, that turn to dust.
The touch, that makes a canvas live,
Was taught by hands unseen,
Yet fairer gifts are there to give
And fairer flowers to glean.
Back of the hand, that holds the brush,
Is the dream of a godlike mind,
But the graceful flight of the soul of Art,
Is swift as the stormy wind.
The song of the singer is not so sweet
As the song that was never sung,
So the words we hold, with the heart's quick beat,
To the winds are never flung.
The story of Love is told to men
In rhythmic words aflame,
A deeper tale is left untold,
Too fair for man to name.
Back of the dream of the painter,
Back of the sculptor's ideal,
Far, where the song sounds fainter,
Where the soul is strong and leal,
Up, where the air is ether,
Keen as the edge of a knife,
Down, in the depths of Nature,
Flows ever the Rhythm of Life.