A Workman to the Gods

Once Phidias stood, with hammer in his hand,
Carving Minerva from the breathing stone,   
Tracing with love the winding of a hair,   
A single hair upon her head, whereon   
A youth of Athens cried, “O Phidias,   
Why do you dally on a hidden hair?   
When she is lifted to the lofty front
Of the Parthenon, no human eye will see.”
And Phidias thundered on him: “Silence, slave:
Men will not see, but the Immortals will!”


Source: The Shoes of Happiness and Other Poems (1929)
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