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The Old Building

From the Evening Star, April 4, 1914. By Philander Johnson.

There’s a squatty looking building that was put up years ago,
They called it altitudinous and thought it quite a show.
But other structures were designed, as men more daring grew,
And this one seemed to dwindle. Its admirers were but few.
It nestles in a canyon. Windows loftily aloof
Gaze down upon the chimneys and the flagpole on its roof.
Nobody lifts his head today and turns a wondering eye
On the squatty looking building that we used to think was high.

Oh, many a glimpse of glory shines and fades in life’s events,
As the theme of song and story with a nation’s compliments.
There’s many a statue chiseled for posterity to see
That doesn’t even make the tourist query, “Who was he?”
As other times bring other men triumphant to our view,
The world forgets the old in contemplation of the new.
And we mention bygone greatness with a reminiscent sigh—
It is like the good old building that we used to think was high.

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