Charles Harpur

Here you will find the Poem Humanity of poet Charles Harpur


I dreamed I was a sculptor, and had wrought 
Out of a towering adamantine crag 
A mighty figure, stately, giant-limbed, 
And with the face of a Homeric god. 
Planted aloft upon the levelled cone 
Of a vast tumulus, that seemed to swell 
Above the sinking outline of the view 
As up from the dusk past, firm fixed it stood, 
Full in the face of the resplendent morn 
Against the deep of heaven all flecked with clouds; 
And I methought was glorying in my work 
One large arm lay upon the powerful breast, 
The other held a scroll. The ample head, 
Majestic in its dome-like curvatures, 
Looked heedful out with full expectant eyes 
Over the brightening world, and in the lines 
And gracious curves of nostrils and of lips 
You traced the use of smiles. But on the brows 
There pained a weight and weariness of thought, 
And furrows spake of care. Much, too, of doubt 
Shadowed the meaning of the mighty face; 
Much was there also in its cast, that seemed 
Significant of a striving to believe, 
To be the liege of an ancestral faith 
In things remote, unsecular, more the birth 
Of mystic than sciential lore, and thence 
But half assured itself. 
 Such was my work: 
A formal type, though dream-designed, it seemed 
Of that great ultimate of manhood, which 
By daring, hoping, doing, and enduring, 
Doubting, divining,?still from age to age 
Doth mould the world, and lead it truthward on, 
Even through its seers, its heroes, and its kings: 
For all who saw it were constrained, methought, 
To sigh, as they looked up??Humanity.?