The Builder

To hew a statue from the formless stone,
To lead a regiment where death is rife,
To walk the ways of sorrow alone,
And laugh with life,
To write a paean that a nation sings,
To bear the burdens and the sneers and stings,
That art must own --
All this is life.

What is it, then, to sit beside the fire,
And dream of things and idly to aspire?
To live, to struggle, nobly to desire.
And to do is life.
It is not that one heeds the world's acclaim --
Brief is the sweetness of the taste of fame --
But doing, building, is the nobler thing,
By which men live, and which their poets sing.

Today a builder comes, one whom we know,
A dreamer, say you, of the long ago,
But ah, the dream's fulfillment is at hand,
And all in awe of the Creator's glow,
A city's people glad and thankful stand,
To welcome one who found it good to know,
And better yet to do,
The things that prove men noble, great and true.