The Builders


All are architects of Fate, 
Working in these walls of Time; 
Some with massive deeds and great, 
Some with ornaments of rhyme. 

Nothing useless is, or low; 
Each thing in its place is best; 
And what seems but idle show 
Strengthens and supports the rest. 

For the structure that we raise, 
Time is with materials filled; 
Our to-days and yesterdays 
Are the blocks with which we build. 

Truly shape and fashion these; 
Leave no yawning gaps between; 
Think not, because no man sees, 
Such things will remain unseen. 

In the elder days of Art, 
Builders wrought with greatest care 
Each minute and unseen part; 
For God sees everywhere. 

Let us do our work as well, 
Both the unseen and the seen; 
Make the house, where God may dwell, 
Beautiful, entire, and clean. 

Else our lives are incomplete, 
Standing in these walls of Time, 
Broken stairways, where the feet 
Stumble as they seek to climb. 

Build to-day, then, strong and sure, 
With a firm and ample base; 
And ascending and secure 
Shall tomorrow find its place. 

Thus alone can we attain 
To those turrets, where the eye 
Sees the world as one vast plain, 
And one boundless reach of sky. 

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow -