This is the bricklayer; hear the thud
Of his heavy load dumped down on stone.
His lustrous bricks are brighter than blood,
His smoking mortar whiter than bone.
Set each sharp-edged, fire-bitten brick
Straight by the plumb-line’s shivering length;
Make my marvelous wall so thick
Dead nor living may shake its strength.
Full as a crystal cup with drink
Is my cell with dreams, and quiet, and cool. . . .
Stop, old man! You must leave a chink;
How can I breathe? You can’t, you fool!