Through toil and trial he’d gained respect,
And thought himself a happy man.
Though not immune to youth’s regret,
He’d lived quite well since life began.
He carved and polished lovely frames,
From wood to make his works of art.
He gained success and wide acclaim.
His craft stemmed from both skill and heart.
One night he lay in sleep’s embrace.
A brilliant Grecian form appeared.
She called him, held him, kissed his face,
Her satin voice was soft and clear.
She swore she’d never cause him pain.
She swore that she would never leave.
He thanked his God that chose to deign,
Him truly worthy to receive,
This love which was but endless thirst.
This love consumed his thoughts entire.
This love subdued and then immersed,
His mind in smoke and hungry fire.
He soon awoke and cursed his fate,
His Grecian form had quit his side.
She left his head in wretched state.
He pledged that he would not abide,
Without his yearning soul’s desire.
This ardent load he would not shirk.
A block of marble he acquired,
And set upon his fervid work.
His task went on for months on end.
He cut and carved the massive stone.
Within himself did he descend.
He toiled away apart, alone.
Time not had he for song or mirth.
His friends and kin were both ignored.
His only charge upon this Earth,
Was see his Grecian form once more.
At last did he complete his task.
Upon a base he placed his love,
And sat before her so to bask,
Below as she stood high above.
Resplendent, graceful, fair was she,
But cold and hard she still remained.
Alone and weary, tired was he,
But blithe in what he had attained.
His haggard, bulging, hungry eyes,
Saw only but her lovely face.
And from his sight did they disguise,
A cleft that formed along the base.
It quickly cracked and broke apart.
The Grecian form was doomed to fall,
On him by whose travail and art,
Did pledge to her his life, his all.
Beneath her form he lay awhile,
Assured that he was dead and gone,
But hot, sharp pain would not beguile,
Him to think he had passed beyond.
He prayed for death a prayer grim
His love of life now did depart.
The Grecian form had but left him,
A broken man with broken heart.
But death came not to him at last,
Though too distraught to cry or scream.
Gone was the work of labors past,
A fleeting, shattered, mocking dream.
He raised himself up from the floor,
And brushed the dust off with his shame.
His past despair was then no more.
He grabbed a half-done mirror frame.
Armed with a sense of strength unknown,
The months he lay beneath his spell,
He vowed he would no more bemoan,
That form on which he long had dwelled.
He held that half-done mirror frame,
The constant source of past delight.
No more he’d be what he became.
And smiled for once in countless nights.