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“The Sculptor Boy”

Poem from The Independent Fifth Reader recited by Carrie Ingalls at the school exhibition.

Carrie was frightened, too. Her eyes were very large in her thin face, and she whispered to herself, “‘Chisel in hand stood the sculptor boy,'” while Laura tied on her hair ribbon. – Little Town on the Prairie, Chapter 24, “The School Exhibition”

Carrie Ingalls recites this poem from the Independent Fifth Reader at the school exhibition in De Smet (see Little Town on the Prairie, Chapter 24, “The School Exhibition”). “The Sculptor Boy” was written by George Washington Doane (1799-1859), American writer and Episcopal bishop. A copy of the Fifth Reader can be found online HERE.

The Sculptor Boy

Chisel in hand stood a sculptor boy,
With his marble block before him;
And his face lit up with a smile of joy
As an angel dream passed o’er him.
He carved that dream on the yielding stone
With many a sharp incision.
In Heaven’s own light the sculptor shone,–
He had caught that angel vision.

Sculptors of life are we, as we stand
With our lives uncarved before us,
Waiting the hour, when, at God’s command,
Our life-dream passes o’er us.
Let us carve it, then, on the yielding stone,
With many a sharp incision:–
Its heavenly beauty shall be our own,–
Our lives, that angel vision.


“The Sculptor Boy” (LTP 24)
     Chisel in hand stood the sculptor boy