‘Builder or Wrecker?’
I watched them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town;
With a ho-heave-ho and a lusty yell
They swung a beam and the sidewalk fell.
I asked the foreman: “Are these men skilled,
As the men you’d hire if you had to build?”
He gave a laugh and said, “No indeed!
Just common labour is all I need.
I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do!”
And I thought to myself as I went on my way,
Which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?
Am I shaping my deeds to a well-made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker, who walks the town,
Content with the labour of tearing down? (Anon)