Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Song of the Mechanics
By George W. Priest
STILLED for a moment be jester’s lay, and the piping notes of Pan,
’Mid your mellow music we high essay to sing a song of Man:
Short be its phrases, as short our speech who fashion the mill and loom,
If the work of our hands not better teach, then give a Man-song room.
When the hammers their thunderous din renew, by the roaring of furnace fires,        5
We see the forging of dreams come true, the shaping of long desires.
The walls of Progress we carry high, though stained by crime and blood;
For your wondrous beauty and joy we die, O coming Brotherhood.
Then drink to labor an honest cup and let its worth be known!
The ghosts of the past come trooping up bearing the brick and stone;        10
Dig they the trenches broad and deep, and shape foundations strong,
Whose good the future years may keep when coming builders throng.
The savage strives for his home, his brood, he fends for his race, his kin;
The workman toils for the common good that takes the whole world in.
Not only for dollars, which mean but bread and refuge from rain and snow,        15
But that peace may prosper, of war instead; for the Master willed it so.
A Workman spread the heavens wide, a Workman placed the sun:
A Master Workman was satisfied when the Maker said, “Well done.”
Take we no shame if we be but tools, clumsy and dull and worn,
If over us infinite justice rules to mould the years unborn.        20

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