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The Builders

From The Tacoma Times, October 30, 1913. By Berton Braley.

We fellows who fool with a pencil or pen
May serve in a measure the leisure of men,
May dream little dreams which we draw or we write,
To give them a moment or hour of delight;
But somehow, it’s little and useless we feel
Compared to the builders in stone and in steel.

We muddle around with our paints or our ink
And talk about Art and the things that we think,
And we fancy ourselves and the work that we do
Which gladdens the eye for a moment or two,
And if a few people should mention our name
We think we are figures of glory and fame!

Our visions are nothing but visions—that’s all,
But the dreams of the builders are built in a wall;
They are hammered in steel, they are mortared in stone,
In tower and bridge and in buttress they’re shown,
Say, what are we singers and painter folk worth
Compared to the builders who conquer the earth!

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