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.
 
Ars Victrix
 
Austin Dobson (1840–1921)
 
 
Imitated from Théophile Gautier
 
 
YES; when the ways oppose—
  When the hard means rebel,
Fairer the work out-grows,—
  More potent far the spell.
 
O Poet, then, forbear        5
  The loosely-sandalled verse,
Choose rather thou to wear
  The buskin—strait and terse;
 
Leave to the tiro’s hand
  The limp and shapeless style;        10
See that thy form demand
  The labor of the file.
 
Sculptor, do thou discard
  The yielding clay,—consign
To Paros marble hard        15
  The beauty of thy line;—
 
Model thy Satyr’s face
  For bronze of Syracuse;
In the veined agate trace
  The profile of thy Muse.        20
 
Painter, that still must mix
  But transient tints anew,
Thou in the furnace fix
  The firm enamel’s hue;
 
Let the smooth tile receive        25
  Thy dove-drawn Erycine;
Thy Sirens blue at eve
  Coiled in a wash of wine.
 
All passes. Art alone
  Enduring stays to us;        30
The Bust outlasts the throne,—
  The Coin, Tiberius;
 
Even the gods must go;
  Only the lofty Rhyme
Not countless years o’erthrow,—        35
  Not long array of time.
 
Paint, chisel, then, or write;
  But, that the work surpass,
With the hard fashion fight,—
  With the resisting mass.        40
 

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