Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DAY AND THE WORK, by EDWIN MARKHAM



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THE DAY AND THE WORK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: To each man is given a day and his work for the day
Last Line: So your work is awaiting: it has waited through ages for you.
Subject(s): Labor & Laborers; Work; Workers


To each man is given a day and his work for the day;
And once, and no more, he is given to travel this way.
And woe if he flies from the task, whatever the odds;
For the task is appointed to him on the scroll of the gods.

There is waiting a work where only your hands can avail;
And so, if you falter, a chord in the music will fail.
We may laugh to this sky, we may lie for an hour in the sun;
But we dare not go hence till the labor appointed is done.

To each man is given a marble to carve for the wall;
A stone that is needed to heighten the beauty of all;
And only his soul has the magic to give it a grace;
And only his hands have the cunning to put it in place.

We are given one hour to parley and struggle with Fate,
Our wild hearts filled with the dream, our brains with the high debate.
It is given to look on life once, and once only to die:
One testing, and then at a sign we go out of the sky.

Yes, the task that is given to each man, no other can do;
So your work is awaiting: it has waited through ages for you.





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