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God Needs Antonio - Poem by George Eliot

Your soul was lifted by the wings today
Hearing the master of the violin:
You praised him, praised the great Sabastian too
Who made that fine Chaconne; but did you think
Of old Antonio Stradivari? -him
Who a good century and a half ago
Put his true work in that brown instrument
And by the nice adjustment of its frame
Gave it responsive life, continuous
With the master's finger-tips and perfected
Like them by delicate rectitude of use.
That plain white-aproned man, who stood at work
Patient and accurate full fourscore years,
Cherished his sight and touch by temperance,
And since keen sense is love of perfectness
Made perfect violins, the needed paths
For inspiration and high mastery.

No simpler man than he; he never cried,
"why was I born to this monotonous task
Of making violins?" or flung them down
To suit with hurling act well-hurled curse
At labor on such perishable stuff.
Hence neighbors in Cremona held him dull,
Called him a slave, a mill-horse, a machine.

Naldo, a painter of eclectic school,
Knowing all tricks of style at thirty-one,
And weary of them, while Antonio
At sixty-nine wrought placidly his best,
Making the violin you heard today -
Naldo would tease him oft to tell his aims.
"Perhaps thou hast some pleasant vice to feed -
the love of louis d'ors in heaps of four,
Each violin a heap - I've naught to blame;
My vices waste such heaps. But then, why work
With painful nicety?"

Antonio then:
"I like the gold - well, yes - but not for meals.
And as my stomach, so my eye and hand,
And inward sense that works along with both,
Have hunger that can never feed on coin.
Who draws a line and satisfies his soul,
Making it crooked where it should be straight?
Antonio Stradivari has an eye
That winces at false work and loves the true."
Then Naldo: "'Tis a petty kind of fame
At best, that comes of making violins;
And saves no masses, either. Thou wilt go
To purgatory none the less."

But he:
"'Twere purgatory here to make them ill;
And for my fame - when any master holds
'Twixt chin and hand a violin of mine,
He will be glad that Stradivari lived,
Made violins, and made them of the best.
The masters only know whose work is good:
They will choose mine, and while God gives them skill
I give them instruments to play upon,
God choosing me to help him.

"What! Were God
at fault for violins, thou absent?"

"Yes;
He were at fault for Stradivari's work."

"Why, many hold Giuseppe's violins
As good as thine."

"May be: they are different.
His quality declines: he spoils his hand
With over-drinking. But were his the best,
He could not work for two. My work is mine,
And, heresy or not, if my hand slacked
I should rob God - since his is fullest good -
Leaving a blank instead of violins.
I say, not God himself can make man's best
Without best men to help him.

'Tis God gives skill,
But not without men's hands: he could not make
Antonio Stradivari's violins
Without Antonio. Get thee to thy easel."


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Poems About Work

  1. 101. God Needs Antonio , George Eliot
  2. 102. Work, Sleep, Work, Sleep, Work , Mark R Slaughter
  3. 103. On A Seven-Day Diary , Alan Dugan
  4. 104. The Wage-Slaves , Rudyard Kipling
  5. 105. Would It Really Matter , Mark Dillon
  6. 106. How Do You Tackle Your Work , Franklin Pierce Adams
  7. 107. A Farmhouse Dirge , Alfred Austin
  8. 108. Office Work , David DeSantis
  9. 109. The Night Cometh , Annie Louisa Walker
  10. 110. Thurso’s Landing , Robinson Jeffers
  11. 111. He Had So Much Work To Do , Henry Lawson
  12. 112. Work , Edith Nesbit
  13. 113. The Gospel According To Lilith- Chapters.. , Lonnie Hicks
  14. 114. Are Einstein's Views On Relativity And E.. , Lonnie Hicks
  15. 115. Beowulf , Anonymous Works
  16. 116. *rubaiyat Of Invention And Innovation - .. , Jonathan ROBIN
  17. 117. I Work To Cure But Think About Sweet Swe.. , Nyota Yasulwe
  18. 118. The Bible As The Oldest Egalitarian Docu.. , Lonnie Hicks
  19. 119. Life's Grandest Things , Jean Blewett
  20. 120. The Impact Of Poverty On Education , Innocent Masina Nkhonyo
  21. 121. The Will Power , Anusha Subramanian
  22. 122. What Does America Need To Do To Survive? , Lonnie Hicks
  23. 123. The Days Of School/ Syllable Cinquain , David Kulczyk
  24. 124. The Odyssey , Homer
  25. 125. ****complete Medieval Philosophy In Verse , RAJ NANDY
  26. 126. Work - The Cycle , Micron
  27. 127. Business , Sam Walter Foss
  28. 128. Ages To Ages , Narendra Kuppan
  29. 129. Duty And Work! , Ramesh T A
  30. 130. Einstein, Time, Space, Buddha And Poetry.. , Lonnie Hicks
  31. 131. The Star's Monument , Jean Ingelow
  32. 132. Happiness, Fate, Work And Fear , Kelly Kurt
  33. 133. Got To Go To Work , Ashley Jones
  34. 134. If Work Is Your Love Affair , Dr. Debasish Mridha
  35. 135. All Work Together , Woody Guthrie
  36. 136. Work! Work! And Reap! , Sylvia Chidi
  37. 137. Hard Working Man (English ~japanese Vers.. , Elena Sandu
  38. 138. The Monitions Of The Unseen , Jean Ingelow
  39. 139. He Who Finds Love , Uriah Hamilton
  40. 140. A Man Recalled , DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
  41. 141. Payment , Mark R Slaughter
  42. 142. Hard Work , Setaluri Padmavathi
  43. 143. Admiration... For Those Who Work! , Eric Cockrell
  44. 144. Lovingly Do The Work , otteri selvakumar
  45. 145. Work , Babatunde Aremu
  46. 146. Work To Do! , Eric Cockrell
  47. 147. Little Impetus , hasmukh amathalal
  48. 148. To Work Or Not To Work. , LaSoaphia QuXazs
  49. 149. Hard Work! , Emmanuel George Cefai
  50. 150. The Solution To All Your Worldly Problems , Akara K.
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