Yet life is not a vision nor a prayer, But stubborn work; she may not shun her task. After the first compassion, none will spare Her portion and her work achieved, to ask. She pleads for respite,—she will come ere long When, resting by the roadside, she is strong. Nay, for the hurrying throng of passers-by Will crush her with their onward-rolling stream. Much must be done before the brief light die; She may not loiter, rapt in the vain dream. With unused trembling hands, and faltering feet, She staggers forth, her lot assigned to meet. But when she fills her days with duties done, Strange vigor comes, she is restored to health. New aims, new interests rise with each new sun, And life still holds for her unbounded wealth. All that seemed hard and toilsome now proves small, And naught may daunt her,—she hath strength for all.
Emma Lazarus - 1849-1887
Venus of the Louvre
Down the long hall she glistens like a star, The foam-born mother of Love, transfixed to stone, Yet none the less immortal, breathing on. Time's brutal hand hath maimed but could not mar. When first the enthralled enchantress from afar Dazzled mine eyes, I saw not her alone, Serenely poised on her world-worshipped throne, As when she guided once her dove-drawn car,— But at her feet a pale, death-stricken Jew, Her life adorer, sobbed farewell to love. Here Heine wept! Here still he weeps anew, Nor ever shall his shadow lift or move, While mourns one ardent heart, one poet-brain, For vanished Hellas and Hebraic pain.