Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
The Ancient and Modern Muses
 
Francis Turner Palgrave (1824–97)
 
 
THE MONUMENT outlasting bronze
  Was promis’d well by bards of old;
The lucid outline of their lay
Its sweet precision keeps for aye,
  Fix’d in the ductile language-gold.        5
 
But we who work with smaller skill,
  And less refin’d material mould,—
This close conglomerate English speech,
Bequest of many tribes, that each
  Brought here and wrought at from of old,        10
 
Residuum rough, eked out by rhyme,
  Barbarian ornament uncouth,—
Our hope is less to last through Art
Than deeper searching of the heart,
  Than broader range of utter’d truth.        15
 
One keen-cut group, one deed or aim
  Athenian Sophocles could show,
And rest content; but Shakespeare’s stage
Must hold the glass to every age,—
  A thousand forms and passions glow        20
 
Upon the world-wide canvas. So
  With larger scope our art we play;
And if the crown be harder won,
Diviner rays around it run,
  With strains of fuller harmony.        25
 

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