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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Enamoured Architect of Airy Rhyme

By Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836–1907)

ENAMOURED architect of airy rhyme,

Build as thou wilt; heed not what each man says.

Good souls, but innocent of dreamers’ ways,

Will come, and marvel why thou wastest time;

Others, beholding how thy turrets climb

’Twixt theirs and heaven, will hate thee all their days:

But most beware of those who come to praise.

O Wondersmith, O worker in sublime

And heaven-sent dreams, let art be all in all;

Build as thou wilt, unspoiled by praise or blame,

Build as thou wilt, and as thy light is given:

Then, if at last the airy structure fall,

Dissolve, and vanish—take thyself no shame.

They fail, and they alone, who have not striven.