by Patience Worth
Behold, behold the roadways,
Lying stretched in grey dust-patterns
About the fields, curving the hillocks
Like necklets of ash. And the creeping
Pageantry of man, sweeping out in gentle
Lines upon the pathways of earth.
Yea, men who sweat, men who ache,
Men who anguish, men who torture
From crude stuffs, stones and clay,
Wondrous imagery which speaks their souls;
Men who dip within their hearts
And write scripts, which the ages
Yet shall read; yea, and men who dip
Within a fluid, writing-that, which be not
Thick enough to cast a shadow!
Men who press their breasts
Upon the implements of labor,
Striking the pregnant sod that it belch forth
Its teeming utterance; men who idly dream
Dreams that shall stir the hearts of empires;
Men who labor with blind eyes,
Never seeing, never seeing, ever striving,
Ever striving!-with confusion as companion.
Men who live!-live to the last
Bitter dreg within the cup,
Quaffing with delight the potion of death,
In defiance uplifting the goblet!
Men who sit within the shadow of their doubt,
Beholding the cup of death in fearing,
Waiting for Tomorrow,
Who already hath laid her hand upon
The cup's brim; Tomorrow-
Whose Finger pointeth to Eternity!
So this is the pageantry of labor.
These are the vitals of day. Behold!
When they stop, the day is finished.
This is day's labor, this intricate application
Of laboring. What tapestry doth it weave?
Oh, some morrow I shall stand beside the loom
With the shuttles empty, all these little
Crawling puppets of the day,
Each unwound of its strand of existence,
Beholding the Plan-the Pattern God wove!
Last updated January 14, 2019