Road Makers

We shall not travel by the road we make.
Ere day by day the sound of many feet
Is heard upon the stones that now we break,
We shall but come to where the cross-roads meet.

For us the heat by day, the cold by night,
The inch-slow progress and the heavy load,
And death at last to close the long, grim fight
With man and beast and stone: for them-the road.

For them the shade of trees that now we plant,
The safe smooth journey and the ultimate goal-
For us day-labour, travail of the soul.

And yet the road is ours, as never theirs;
Is not one thing on us alone bestowed?
For us the master-joy, oh, pioneers-
We shall not travel, but we make the road!

– V. H. Friedlaender

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