On the Tool and the Gem.
Dedicated to the Students of the Nauvoo University, under the tuition of Elder Orson Pratt.
By Miss E.R. Snow.
I saw a thing of rudest form,
From mountain’s base brought forth—
A useless gem—devoid of charm,
And wrap’d in cumbrous earth.
Its rough exterior met the eye
With a repulsive show;
For every charm was forced to lie
In buried depths below.
The Sculptor came;–I wondered when
His pliant tool was brought;
He pass’d it o’er the gem, and then
I mark’d the change it wrought.
Each cumbrance from its surface cleared,–
The gem exposed to view—
Its nature and its worth appeared—
Its form expansive grew.
By gentle strokes it was set free—
By softer touch refined;
Till beauty, grace, and majesty
Were in its nature joined.
Its lustre kindled to a blaze—
‘Twas Wisdom’s lamp begun,
And soon the splendor of its rays
Eclipsed the noon-day sun.
That gem was chained in crudeness, till
The Sculptor lent his aid;
I wondered at the ready skill
His potent hand displayed.
But ‘twas the virtue of his tool,
Of fine, transforming edge;
Which served for pencil mould and rule—
For polisher and sledge.
That tool requires a skilful hand—
That gem no charm should bind;
That tool is Education, and
That gem, the Human Mind.
[The above is just as applicable to the Students of Deseret now, as to Nauvoo formerly.—Ed.]
[Deseret News, Apr. 3, 1852]
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Sept. 2006]