I sink my piers to the solid rock,
And I send my steel to the sky,
And I pile up the granite, block by block
Full twenty stories high;
Nor wind nor weather shall wash away
The thing that I’ve builded, day by day.
Here’s something of mine that shall ever stand
Till another shall tear it down;
Here is the work of my brain and hand,
Towering above the town.
And the idlers gay in their smug content,
Have nothing to leave for a monument.
Here from my girders I look below
At the throngs which travel by,
For little that’s real will they leave to show
When it comes their time to die.
But I, when my time of life is through,
Will leave this building for men to view.
Oh, the work is hard and the days are long,
But hammers are tools for men,
And granite endures and steel is strong,
Outliving both brush and pen.
And ages after my voice is stilled,
Men shall know I lived by the things I build.