THE MASTER'S HAND
by: Mary Elizabeth Blake
- HE scroll was old and gray;
- The dust of time had gathered white and chill
- Above the touches of the worker's skill,
- And hid their charm away.
- The many passed it by;
- For no sweet curve of dainty face or form,
- No gleam of light, or flash of color warm,
- Held back the careless eye.
- But when the artist came,
- With eye that saw beyond the charm of sense,
- He seemed to catch a sense of power intense
- That filled the dusky frame.
- And when with jealous care
- His hand had cleansed the canvas, line by line,
- Behold! the fire of perfect art divine,
- Had burned its impress there!
- Upon the tablet glowed,
- Made priceless by the arch of time they spanned,
- The touches of the rare Old Master's hand,
- The life his skill bestowed.
- O God whom we adore!
- Give us the watchful sight, to see and trace
- Thy living semblance in each human face
- However clouded o'er.
- Give us the power to find,
- However warped and grimed by time and sin,
- Thine impress stamped upon the soul within,
- Thy signet on the mind.
- Not ours the reckless speed
- To proudly pass our brother's weakness by,
- And turning from his side with careless eye,
- To take no further heed;--
- But, studying line by line,
- Grant to our hearts deep trust and patient skill,
- To trace within his soul and spirit still
- Thy Master Hand divine!
MORE POEMS BY MARY ELIZABETH BLAKE
|"The Master's Hand" is reprinted from Poems. Mary Elizabeth Blake. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1891.