Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE MASTER BUILDER, by DAVID RITCHIE
First Line: A master builder he, who with his hands
Last Line: Who over the world have held a potent sway?
Subject(s): Buildings & Builders
A master builder he, who with his hands
Lays brick on brick and stone on stone, and stands
And views his work with conscious pride, that he
Has had the power to build for worlds to see,
Something enduring that will cheer men's sight
For years to come, and when eternal night
Has closed its shades about him, there will still
Remain a monument to his, a workman's skill.
A master builder he, who with his brain
Adds truth to truth and fact to fact a chain
So powerful that thus he wrests and holds
Secrets that nature reluctantly unfolds,
Through science forcing them to ease the way
Of future generations. Thus, when day
Has closed to him forever, there will still
Remain a monument to his inventive skill.
A master builder he, who humbly lives,
And daily of himself so freely gives,
That deed by deed and step by step he molds
A link invisible though strong, that holds
The chain of human destinies intact;
And yet no monument does he exact.
But though he comes and goes, unknown, forgot,
Can mankind say, because they see it not,
He has not builded just as well as they
Who over the world have held a potent sway?
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