William Wetmore Story

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William Wetmore Story (February 12, 1819October 7, 1895) was an American sculptor, art critic, poet, and editor.


Poems of William Wetmore Story (1885)[edit]

Poems of William Wetmore Story (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1885)
The Poet in his Art
Must intimate the whole, and say the smallest part.
  • Ah, me! the vision has vanished—
    The music has died away!
    • "Cleopatra" (1858), Vol. I, p. 129.
  • I sing the hymn of the conquered, who fell in the battle of life,—
    The hymn of the wounded, the beaten, who died overwhelmed in the strife;
    Not the jubilant song of the victors, for whom the resounding acclaim
    Of nations was lifted in chorus, whose brows wore the chaplet of fame,
    But the hymn of the low and the humble, the weary, the broken in heart,
    Who strove and who failed, acting bravely a silent and desperate part.
    • "Io Victis!" (1883), Vol. II, p. 177. Compare: "Now it seems to me, when it can not be helped that defeat is great", Walt Whitman, To a Foiled European Revolutionaire.
  • And all but their faith overthrown.
    • "Io Victis!" (1883), Vol. II, p. 177.
  • They only the victory win,
    Who have fought the good fight, and have vanquished the demon that tempts us within;
    Who have held to their faith unseduced by the prize that the world holds on high;
    Who have dared for a high cause to suffer, resist, fight,—if need be, to die.
    • "Io Victis!" (1883), Vol. II, p. 178.
  • But the gray and the cold are haunted
    By a beauty akin to pain,—
    By the sense of a something wanted,
    That will never come again.
    • "In the Rain", Vol. II, p. 227.
  • Oh! faint delicious spring-time violet,
    Thine odor, like a key,
    Turns noiselessly in memory's wards to let
    A thought of sorrow free.
    • "The Violet", Vol. II, p. 256.
  • Of every noble work the silent part is best,
    Of all expression that which can not be expressed.
    • Couplet III, iii, Vol. II, p. 308
  • Strive not to say the whole! The Poet, in his Art,
    Must intimate the whole, and say the smallest part.
    • Couplet III, i, Vol. II, p. 308.

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