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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Susan Marr Spalding (1841–1908)

An Antique Intaglio

SO infinitely small we scarce may trace

The magic touches of the graver’s hand;

And yet so great that Time himself doth stand

With envious gaze, all powerless to efface.

Here lie the power and skill and wondrous grace

That might the stateliest palaces have planned;

And one soul’s lifelong toil perchance is spanned

Within this little circle’s narrow space.

Was he content, the artist? Did he burn

With ardent pride and sweet creative bliss

O’er thy perfected loveliness, nor yearn

For wider spheres and mightier work than this?

Or from thy beauty would he sadly turn,

And sigh, and gaze on the Acropolis?