John Boyle O'Reilly

An Art Message

John Boyle O'Reilly was an Irish-born poet, journalist and fiction writer.

HE gathered cherry-stones, and carved them quaintly
Into fine semblances of flies and flowers;
With subtle skill, he even imaged faintly
The forms of tiny maids and ivied towers.

His little blocks he loved to file and polish;
And ampler means he asked not, but despised.
All art but cherry-stones he would abolish,
For then his genius would be rightly prized.

For such rude hands as dealt with wrongs and passions
And throbbing hearts, he had a pitying smile;
Serene his way through surging years and fashions,
While Heaven gave him his cherry-stones and file!