Few have praised the master of masters, who but I
Have right, that followed example, and did not lie
Idly between clean sheets when was work to do.
And saw Paul's tower by Embankment, high over City in dew
Not resolved; sunlight of hidden sun; and with apprentices
Drank, and watched faces in Whitetrairs Lane, to my fancies.
Such work tops all but of Shakespeare, the earths child, the sun's,
He of no fairy gift, but of hard-first resolutions -
And set to build as Bartholomews lover that Saint -
Or Wren in a later day raising great stone from the burnt
History and heart's love of the City London.
(So much merchants', scholars love so dreadfully undone.)
But it not I, that have praised in music his town
Worthy of his praise - and to glory made great stone known.
If not I that of Embankment and Aldgate wrote -
The Age is mean indeed, and honours only by rote.
Chapman, and Marston, Pord, Shirley, marks to frighten;
To frighten those, whom their example should urge and heighten.
The age is honourless, and my walking in loneliness
My long thoughts in strict ways, my work - followings of him,
Are scorn to those whose lives are a wind breadth’s whim.
Follow nor good nor evil - see not, with eyes custom dim
Ivor Gurney's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Ben Johnson by Ivor Gurney )
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
William Carlos Williams
(17 September 1883 – 4 March 1963)
(18 July 1933)
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Harivansh Rai Bachchan
(27 November 1907 – 18 January 2003)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- The Boy Who Laughed At Santa Claus, Ogden Nash
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Trees, Joyce Kilmer
Poem of the Day
- Pain, Pain Knows No Race, Hebert Logerie
- God's Hands Of Love, Tom Zart
- Alone, Samantha Gronn
- David, Casey Renee Kiser
- She Stuck Her Butt Out At Me..., wanderer sailor
- Nine Views of the Huangshan, Paul Hartal
- Trying to Say Goodbye, Bijay Kant Dubey
- Autumn, Leong Ming Loong
- Colors, Tom Squires
- वक्त का तकाजा है vakt ka takaaja hai, hasmukh amathalal