Sonnet. On seeing the ivory statue of Christ
|←On the death of Mrs. N. P. Willis||Sonnet. On seeing the ivory statue of Christ by
from Poems (1848)
|On a picture of Harvey Birch→|
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.
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.