[These statues were exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum after the sculptor's death. The figures alluded to are the famous statue of Abraham Lincoln, and the monument in memory of Mrs. Henry Adams, the original of which is in the Rock Creek Cemetery at Washington. --Max Eastman]
POET, thy dreams are grateful to the air
And the light loves them. Tho' they murmur not,
Their carven stillness is a music rare,
And like the song of one whose tongue hath caught
The clear ethereal essence of his thought.
I hear the talkers come, the changing throngs
That with the fashions of a day surround
Thy visions, and I hear them quell their tongues,
And hush their querulous shoes upon the ground;
Thy dreams are with the crown of silence crowned--
Though they feel not the glowing diadem,
Who sleep for aye in their cool shapes of stone.
Nor ever will the sunlight waken them,
Nor ever will they turn their eyes and moan,
To think that their brief Poet's life is gone.
The tender and the lofty soul is gone,
Who eyed them forth from darkness, and confessed
His spirit's motion in unmoving stone.
His praise upon no mortal tongue doth rest;
By these unwhispering lips it is expressed.
Soon will the ample arms of night withdraw
Her shuffling children from the twilit hall--
From that heroic presence, in dim awe
Of whom the dark withholds a while her pall,
And leaves him luminous above them all.
Then are ye lost in darkness and alone,
Ye ghostly spirits! And the moment rare
Doth quicken that too sad and nameless stone,
To move her robe, and spill her sable hair,
And be in silence mingled with the air;
For she is one with the dim glimmering hour,
And the white spirits beautiful and still,
And the veiled memory of the vanished power
That moulded them, the high and infinite will
That earth begets and earth does not fulfil.