Archive for June 4th, 2012

Monday, 4 June 2012

A Definite Attainment by William Allingham

Of all the things accomplished yet by man
Which is the greatest? In our loftiest aims
No full accomplishment the wise man claims;
In our mechanic marvels we but plan
To live a little easier if we can;
Science a schoolboy is; poetic fames
Are mere appropriations; Nature shames
The old painters, while we even miss their span.

Our greatest fact,―which Nature rivals not,
Adam owned not before he rued the tree,
Nor Greek in templed Athens e’er attained,―
With weakness, doubt―with earth or dead unstained;
I deem, the various powers of Music brought
Together in one soul-deep harmony.

From: Allen, Michael J, The Anthem Anthology of Victorian Sonnets, 2011, Anthem Press: London, p. 243.

Date: 1850

By: William Allingham (1824-1889)