Carolyn Wells

(1869-1942 / the United States)

Found Wanting - Poem by Carolyn Wells

There lived a wondrous sculptor once, a genius in his way,
Named Phidias Praxiteles Canova Merryday.
He sat within his studio and said, 'I really must
Begin a Rhodian anaglyptic ceroplastic bust.

'My customers demand them, their fame rings near and far,
But then, alas, the trouble is, I don't know what they are.
Though I could carve a Venus or a Belvedere with ease,
My wondrous skill is lacking when it comes to carving these.

'I cast and cut and chisel, I model and I mould,
I copy poses picturesque from studies new and old;
In marble, bronze, and potter's clay, in wax and wood and stone
I carve the old-time statues with improvements of my own.

'I have Apollo on a horse, Minerva on a wheel,
Hercules going fishing with his basket and his creel.
A Mercury on roller-skates, Diana with a hat,
And Venus playing tennis with Achilles at the bat.

'Yet these my customers pass by, and ask with interest keen,
For things with long and tiresome names,--I don't know what they mean.
And so I let my hammers hang, and let my chisels rust,
For I cannot do an anaglyptic ceroplastic bust.'

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 13, 2010

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