Character Building Poetry: Edgar A. Guest
“I watched them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town.
With a ho-heave-ho and a lusty yell,
They swung a beam, and the side wall fell.
I asked the foreman: “Are these men skilled–
And the men you’d hire if you had to build?”
He gave a laugh and said: “No, indeed!
Just common labor is all I need.
I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do.”
And I thought to myself as I went my way,
Which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care
Measuring life by the rule and square?
Am I shaping my deeds to a well made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker, who walks the town
Content with the labor of tearing down?”
Americanist Classroom is a project of Steve Farrell and Self-Educated American.