Poem of the Week: Life Sculpture by George Washington Doane

25 May 2012

Carrie was frightened, too. Her eyes were very large in her thin face, and she whispered to herself, "Chisel in hand stood the sculptor boy," while Laura tied on her hair ribbon. — Little Town on the Prairie, Chapter 24: "The School Exhibition"

It's always fun to pull out old books that you haven't read for years and pour once more over their well-worn pages. In this case, "well worn" is a bit of an understatement, since we're speaking of the Little House books I have cherished since age five, and they threaten to fall apart when you breathe on them. Just last week I was reading Little Town on the Prairie — I've pretty much finished school for the summer and felt like some light, happy reading after studying for exams — and I came upon this dear little poem that Carrie Ingalls recited in the De Smet School Exhibition. Taken from the Independent Fifth Reader, it was penned by George Washington Doane, an American writer and Episcopal bishop. The poem is short, simple, and sweet, and altogether too good to pass up.

{via Google Images}

Life Sculpture
By George Washington Doane (1799 — 1859)

Chisel in hand stood a sculptor boy
With his marble block before him,
And his eyes lit up with a smile of joy,
As an angel-dream passed o’er him.

He carved the dream on that shapeless stone,
With many a sharp incision;
With heaven’s own flight the sculpture shone,
He’d caught that angel-vision.

Children of life are we, as we stand
With our lives uncarved before us,
Waiting the hour when, at God’s command,
Our life-dream shall pass o’er us.

If we carve it then on the yielding stone,
With many a sharp incision,
Its heavenly beauty shall be our own,
Our lives, that angel-vision.
"But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." — Isaiah 64:8

1 epistles:

  1. This has nothing to do with your post... but I just purchased your book! I can't wait for it to get here. Have a marvelous day dear!



"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body." —Proverbs 16:24

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