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Collected Poems

The Builders

page 67

The Builders

These have their temples, citadels and schools,
builded by those of old who toiled and wrought
new gods to guard the world, nor comfort sought
nor honour in their day. But we whose tools
inherit that vast labour, no smooth rules
nor laws have we, no sure foundation, naught
but our own hard, bitter faith. Betrayed and caught
in the engines of our kind, we are made the fools
of time and chance. But surely we are brave
who know our gods are false, yet make them true,
toiling with shape and vigour to imbue
the lie, the truth enwombed. The world to save,
we take and eat the lie: the truth we give.
These others live, and die: we die, yet live.