The Workshop and The Bronze.

From: The Bird and the Bell with Other Poems (1875)
Author: Christopher Pearse Cranch
Published: Osgood and Company 1875 Boston


THE heaving bellows pants no more,
The fiery forge is cold and still,
Wide open stands the furnace door,
The ashes on the hearth are chill;
The noise, the labor, and the heat are o’er.

The pale light of the waning day
Through dim and smoky windows falls,
And gleams with melancholy gray
On scattered tools and blackened walls;
The weary workmen all have gone away.

But on a pedestal, behold,
There stands a statue of a man,—
A bronze as perfect-pure as gold,—
Completion of the artist’s plan,
Shaped in the heat: consummate from the mould.

O thou through toil and furnace-fires
Purged of the dross that marred thy youth,
And moulded to divine desires
By master-hands of love and truth,
Till all thy being to the Best aspires,—

Thy earthly house that saw thy prime
Alive with busy thought and hand
May empty lie. But thou sublime
Shalt in thy soul’s fair image stand,
And smile at fate and all the change of time.

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