Poem: Progress by Anonymous

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Steadily, steadily, step by step,
   Up the venturous builders go:
Carefully placing stone on stone,
   Thus the loftiest temples grow.

Patiently patiently, day by day,
The artist toils at his task away;
Touching it here and tinting it there,
Giving it ever, with infinite care,
A line more soft, or a hue more fair;
Till, little by little the picture grows,
And at last the cold canvass glows
With life and beauty and forms of grace,
That ever more in the world have place.

Thus, with the poet, hour after hour,
   He listens to catch the fairy chimes
That ring in his soul; though with magic power
   He weaves their melody into rhymes.
Slowly, carefully, word by word,
   Line by line, and thought by thought,
He fastens the golden tissue of Song,
   And thus are immortal anthems wrought.

Every wise observer knows,
   Every watchful gazer sees,
Nothing grand or beautiful grows,
   Save by gradual, slow degrees;
Ye who toil with a purpose high,
   And fondly the proud result await,
Murmur not, as the hours go by,
   That the season is long, the harvest late.

Remember, that brotherhood, strong and true,
   Builders and artists, and bards sublime,
Who lived in the past and worked like you,
   Worked and waited a wearisome time;
Dark and cheerless, and long their night,
   Yet they patiently at their task begun;
Till lo! thro' the clouds broke the morning light,   
   Which shines on the soul when success is won!

First published in The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser, 9 November 1867

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 24, 2010 11:10 AM.

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