The Traveller And The Statue Of Opportunity

A Traveler meets a statue of Opportunity and a discussion ensues about how it got there. Opportunity said it never took any presented opportunities!

Don’t overlook opportunities.


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Sketch: James Northcote; Wood drawing: William Harvey; Engraving: J. Jackson (1828)

A Dialogue

Say, Image, by what Sculptor’s hand,
‘In breathing marble here you stand?’
Opp. ‘By his, whose art, to thousands known,
‘Bids Jove and Pallas live in stone;
‘But seldom seen by mortal eyes,
‘I claim the kindred of the skies;
‘By few I’m found, tho’ great my fame,
‘And Opportunity’s my name.’
Tr. ‘Say, if the cause you may reveal,
‘Why thus supported on a wheel?’
Opp. ‘The wheel my rapid course implies,
‘Like that with constant speed it flies.’
Tr. ‘Wings on your feet?’—Opp. ‘I’m prone to soar;
‘Neglected, I return no more.’
Tr. ‘But why behind depriv’d of hair?’
Opp. ‘Escap’d, that none may seize me there.’
Tr. ‘Your locks unbound conceal your eyes?’
Opp. ‘Because I chiefly court disguise.’
Tr. ‘Why coupled with that solemn fair,
‘Of down-cast mien and mournful air?’
Opp. ‘Repentance, she’ (the stone replies)
‘My substitute, behind me flies:
‘Observe, and her you’ll ever see
‘Pursue the wretch depriv’d of me;
‘By her corrected, mortals mourn
‘For what they’ve done and what foreborne:
‘Ask me no more; for while you stay,
‘I vanish unperceiv’d away.’

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Wood drawing: William Harvey; Engraving: A.J. Mason (1828)