WE WERE taken from the ore-bed and the mine,
We were melted in the furnace and the pit—
We were cast and wrought and hammered to design,
We were cut and filed and tooled and gauged to fit.
Some water, coal, and oil is all we ask,
And a thousandth of an inch to give us play:
And now if you will set us to our task,
We will serve you four and twenty hours a day!
We can pull and haul and push and lift and drive,
We can print and plough and weave and heat and light,
We can run and jump and swim and fly and dive,
We can see and hear and count and read and write!
Would you call a friend from half across the world?
The boat-express is waiting your command!
You will find the Mauretania at the quay,
Till her captain turns the lever ‘neath his hand,
And the monstrous nine-decked city goes to sea.
Do you wish to make the mountains bare their head
It is easy! Give us dynamite and drills!
Watch the iron-shouldered rocks lie down and quake
As the thirsty desert-level floods and fills,
And the valley we have dammed becomes a lake.
But remember, please, the Law by which we live,
Though our smoke may hide the Heavens from your eyes,
It will vanish and the stars will shine again,
Because, for all our power and weight and size,
We are nothing more than children of your brain!