The Statue

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   A granite rock in the mountain side
   Gazed on the world and was satisfied.
   It watched the centuries come and go.
   It welcomed the sunlight, yet loved the snow.
   It grieved when the forest was forced to fall,
   Yet joyed when steeples rose, white and tall,
   In the valley below it, and thrilled to hear
   The voice of the great town roaring near.

   When the mountain stream from its idle play
   Was caught by the mill wheel and borne away
   And trained to labour, the grey rock mused
   ‘Trees and verdure and stream are used
   By Man the Master; but I remain
   Friend of the mountain, and star, and plain,
   Unchanged forever by God’s decree,
   While passing centuries bow to me.’

   Then all unwarned, with a mighty shock
   Out of the mountain was wrenched the rock.
   Bruised and battered and broken in heart,
   It was carried away to the common mart,
   Wrecked and ruined in piece and pride.
   ‘Oh, God is cruel,’ the granite cried,
   ‘Comrade of mountains, of stars the friend,
   By all deserted, how sad my end.’

   A dreaming sculptor in passing by
   Gazed at the granite with thoughtful eye.
   Then stirred with a purpose supremely grand
   He bade his dream in the rock expand.
   And lo! from the broken and shapeless mass
   That grieved and doubted, it came to pass
   That a glorious statue of priceless worth
   And infinite beauty, adorned the earth.

 

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