Poems (Botta)/On Seeing the Ivory Statue of Christ
ON SEEING THE IVORY STATUE OF CHRIST.
The enthusiast brooding in his cell apart O’er the sad image of the Crucified,— The drooping head, closed lips and piercéd side,— A holy vision fills his raptured heart; With heavenly power inspired, his unskilled arm Shapes the rude block to this transcendent form. Oh Son of God! thus, ever thus, would I Dwell on the loveliness enshrined in Thee; The lofty faith, the sweet humility; The boundless love, the love that could not die. And as the sculptor, with thy glory warm, Gave to this chiselled ivory thy fair form, So would my spirit, in thy thought divine, Grow to a semblance, fair as this, of Thine.