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Ashlar Home > Poems > Rob Morris > Hard Service, Good Wages

Hard Service, Good Wages

By Rob Morris

Bow the back, ye Brothers dear!
Pinch the flesh, the work's severe!
Come, while every workman sleeps,
View the City! heaps on heaps!
See the Temple desolate!
Lo! the burnt and shattered Gate.
To repair it is your wish?
Bow the back! and pinch the flesh!

Bow the back! 'tis hopeful toil
Yours the Corn and Wine and Oil,
Emblems of reward, shall be,
Plenty, Peace, and Unity!
Pinch the flesh! not long you wait!
Standing in the Golden Gate,
Lo! your Lord! and in his hand
Wages rich at your command!

Cheer to those who, long and late,
Meet and toil at Sion's Gate!
Cheer and courage! See! on high
Beams the bright, All-Seeing Eye!
See! the work goes bravely on
Wall and Gate and Tower are won!
Grasp the Trowel! Wield the Sword!
Cheer! And trust in Sion's Lord!

By the Hieroglyphics ten,
Wisdom, Strength and Beauty's plan
By the mystic Features seven,
Surely by the Master given
By the covenant-woven faith,
Strong in life and strong in death
Every hope of foemen crush!
Bow the back! and pinch the flesh!
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