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All are architects of Fate,
Working in these walls of Time ; Some with massive deeds and great,
Some with ornaments of rhyme.
Nothing useless is, or low ;
Each thing in its place is best ; And what seems but idle show
Strengthens and supports the rest. For the structure that we raise,
Time is with materials filled ; Our to-days and yesterdays
Are the blocks with which we build.
Truly shape and fashion these ;
Leave no yawning gaps between ; Think not, because no man sees,
Such things will remain unseen.
In the elder days of Art,
Builders wrought with greatest care Each minute and unseen part ;
For the Gods see everywhere.
Let us do our work as well,
Both the unseen and the seen ; Make the house, where Gods may dwell,
Beautiful, entire, and clean.
Else our lives are incomplete,
Standing in these walls of Time, Broken stairways, where the feet
Stumble as they seek to climb.
Build to-day, then, strong and sure,
With a firm and ample base ; And ascending and secure
Shall to-morrow find its place.
Thus alone can we attain
To those turrets, where the eye Sees the world as one vast plain,
And one boundless reach of sky. SAND OF THE DESERT IN AN HOUR.
A HANDFUL of red sand, from the hot clime
Of Arab deserts brought,
The minister of Thought.
How many weary centuries has it been
About those deserts blown !
How many histories known !
Perhaps the camels of the Ishmaelite
Trampled and passed it o'er, When into Egypt from the patriarch's sight
His favorite son they bore.
Perhaps the feet of Moses, burnt and bare,
Crushed it beneath their tread;
Scattered it as they sped ;
Or Mary, with the Christ of Nazareth
Held close in her caress, Whose pilgrimage of hope and love and faith
Illumed the wilderness ;
Or anchorites beneath Engaddi's palms
Pacing the Red Sea beach, And singing slow their old Arinenian psalms
In half-articulate speech ;