Skip to content


January 10, 2012

My last post referenced two Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poems.  One of them, Psalm of Life, I included.  The other poem is The Builders, and I’m going to include it here.  Pardon the length, but there is a lot of good in it.  It again deals with fate, and reflects a view with which I think I agree – that we directly affect our fate by the decisions we make on a daily basis.

The Builders

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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 out 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.

I like Longfellow’s thought that we should pay close attention to detail in our daily lives.   Whether or not you believe in God, there is always someone watching what you do.  Whether you are working with words or deeds or time, work hard and take care that the work you do is something you can be proud of – not just now but years in the future.

Thanks for reading,


* I’m including a code for Technorati verification here.


Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: