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Thursday, March 5, 2009


Back of the beating hammer
By which the steel is wrought,
Back of the workshop's clamor
The seeker may find the Thought,
The Thought that is ever master
Of iron and steam and steel,
That rises above disaster
And tramples it under heel!

The drudge may fret and tinker
Or labor with dusty blows,
But back of him stands the Thinker,
The clear-eyed man who Knows;
For into each plow or saber
Each piece and part and whole,
Must go the Brains of Labor,
Which give the work a soul!

Back of the motor's humming,
Back of the belts that sing,
Back of the hammer's drumming,
Back of the cranes that swing,
There is the eye which scans them
Watching through stress and strain,
There is the Mind which plans them
Back of the brawn the Brain!

Might of the roaring boiler,
Force of the engine's thrust,
Strength of the sweating toiler
Greatly in these we trust;
But back of them stands the Schemer
The Thinker who drives things through;
Back of the Job the Dreamer
Who makes the dream come true!

Berton Braley. c. 1910

(Note: this poem appear to have been published in 1948, but I found it in a book published in 1919 so I am guessing 1910).

1 comment:

garret seinen said...

I like this a just little more that "the Big men", but both are great. Inspiring for anyone who works with "things".