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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Statue

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 labor, the gray 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. 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. In England
  2. The Plow of God
  3. The Phantom Ball
  4. Our Lives
  5. Why the Spring is Late

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Clinton Scollard The Statue ("As perfect in their symmetry as thine")
  • Hilaire Belloc The Statue ("When we are dead, some Hunting-boy will pass")

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