A Sculptor

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

As the ambitious sculptor, tireless, lifts
       Chisel and hammer to the block at hand,
       Before my half-formed character I stand
And ply the shining tools of mental gifts.
I'll cut away a huge, unsightly side
       Of selfishness, and smooth to curves of grace
       The angles of ill-temper.

              And no trace
Shall my sure hammer leave of silly pride.
       Chip after chip must fall from vain desires,
       And the sharp corners of my discontent
Be rounded into symmetry, and lent
Great harmony by faith that never tires.
       Unfinished still, I must toil on and on,
       Till the pale critic, Death, shall say, "'Tis done."

from Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1883)

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