Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Not in the fabled influence of some star,
Benign or evil, do our fortunes lie;
We are the arbiters of destiny,
Lords of the life we either make or mar.
We are our own impediment and bar
To noble endings. With distracted eye
We let the golden moment pass us by,
Time's foolish spendthrifts, searching wide and far
For what lies close at hand. To serve our turn
We ask fair wind and favorable tide.
From the dead Danish sculptor let us learn
To make Occasion, not to be denied:
Against the sheer precipitous mountain-side
Thorwaldsen carved his Lion at Lucerne.

The Lion Monument in Lucerne was carved in the rock in 1820-21. It is a memorial to the Swiss Guards who were massacred during the French Revolution in 1792, when rebels stormed the Tuileries Palace in Paris.

Bertel Thorvaldsen designed the Lion, but it was actually carved by Lukas Ahorn.

Mark Twain called the sculpture "the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world."