American Muse: Edwin Markham

aMarkhamMuse1

“A Workman to the Gods”

Once Phidias stood, with hammer in his hand,
Carving Minerva from the breathing stone,
Tracing with love the winding of a hair,
A single hair upon her head, whereon
A youth of Athens cried, “O Phidias,
Why do you dally on a hidden hair?
When she is lifted to the lofty front
Of the Parthenon, no human eye will see.”
And Phidias thundered on him: “Silence, slave:
Men will not see, but the Immortals will!”

Below – “Minerva,” Roman herm, copy after Greek original from the school of Phidias.
aMarkhamMuse2 copy

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