O artist soul! and art thou then the slave
Of that dull workman, Time? I tell thee nay;
He is thy studio drudge, to mould youth's clay
At thy behest, and at thy will to grave
Manhood's stern marble. So thou guide the knave,
Then shall each touch and chisel-stroke display,
In lines perchance now broken in the sway
Of effort, now harmoniously suave.
Thy pure high thoughts, which an inviolate will
Guards from the passion-strokes of pain and ill.
And slow corrosion of the mean and base;
And to life's close, not only in the ken
Of the great Master Critic, but of men,
Beauty shall sit enthroned upon that face.