Not thine where marble-still and white
Old statues share the tempered light
And mock the uneven modern flight,
But in the stream
Of daily sorrow and delight
To seek a theme.
I too, O friend, have steeled my heart
Boldly to choose the better part,
To leave the beaten ways of art,
And wholly free
To dare, beyond the scanty chart,
The deeper sea.
All vain restrictions left behind,
Frail bark! I loose my anchored mind
And large, before the prosperous wind
Desert the strand—
A new Columbus sworn to find
The morning land.
Nor too ambitious, friend. To thee
I own my weakness. Not for me
To sing the enfranchised nations' glee,
Or count the cost
Of warships foundered far at sea
And battles lost.