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Hymn of Breaking Strain
Hymn of Breaking Strain

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Children Classics

2 Minutes   22    1

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THE careful text-books measure

(Let all who build beware!)

The load, the shock, the pressure

Material can bear.

So, when the buckled girder

Lets down the grinding span,

'The blame of loss, or murder,

Is laid upon the man.

Not on the Stuff - the Man!

But in our daily dealing

With stone and steel, we find

The Gods have no such feeling

Of justice toward mankind.

To no set gauge they make us-

For no laid course prepare-

And presently o'ertake us

With loads we cannot bear:

Too merciless to bear.

The prudent text-books give it

In tables at the end

'The stress that shears a rivet

Or makes a tie-bar bend-

'What traffic wrecks macadam-

What concrete should endure-

but we, poor Sons of Adam

Have no such literature,

To warn us or make sure!

We hold all Earth to plunder -

All Time and Space as well-

Too wonder-stale to wonder

At each new miracle;

Till, in the mid-illusion

Of Godhead 'neath our hand,

Falls multiple confusion

On all we did or planned-

The mighty works we planned.

We only of Creation

(0h, luckier bridge and rail)

Abide the twin damnation-

To fail and know we fail.

Yet we - by which sole token

We know we once were Gods-

Take shame in being broken

However great the odds-

The burden of the Odds.

Oh, veiled and secret Power

Whose paths we seek in vain,

Be with us in our hour

Of overthrow and pain;

That we - by which sure token

We know Thy ways are true -

In spite of being broken,

Because of being broken

May rise and build anew

Stand up and build anew.

justice mankind books

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