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The Stone Rejected

From The Birmingham Age Herald, November 7, 1913. By Edwin Markham.

For years it had been trampled in the street
Of Florence by the drift of heedless feet—
The stone that Buonarroti made confess
That shape you know, that marble loveliness.

You mind the tale—how he was passing by
When the rude marble caught his Jovian eye,
That stone men had dishonored and had thrust
Out to the insult of the wayside dust.
He stooped to lift it from its mean estate,
And bore it on his shoulder to the gate,
Where all day long a hundred hammers rang;
And soon his chisels round the marble sang,
Till suddenly the hidden angel shone
That had been waiting, prisoned in the stone.

Thus came the cherub, with the laughing face
That long has lighted up an altar place.

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