The Bricklayer’s Beautiful Daughter
With Apologies to William Ackerman
The bricklayer’s beautiful daughter
was all that I needed to see
to know that a mate from a humble estate
could wealthy and prosperous be.
With simple and elegant grace she walked
and modesty cloaked her smile,
as she bowed in respect to the others she met,
on her way to the mercantile.
As I stood hip-deep in a footing’s trench
and a mist began lightly to fall,
with nary a fret, so as not to get wet
a bright canopy answered her call.
Then I thought of the two of our stations,
hers in beauty and mine of the sweat,
hope rose in my heart that a low meager start
might a dignified end achieve yet.
And I knew then that this was her calling.
Nothing more, but surely none less
than to offer the grace of a beautiful face,
as a bright harbinger of success.
For a man never lived who could labor
in the dirt, by the sweat of his brow,
lest he certainly knew that the way up was true
and the future was better than now.
Sure, an idler could never decipher
the rhyme of her high, noble creed,
for he sees naught but strife in the laborer’s life,
in the daughter’s face, envy and greed.
Now, a handout produces a pauper;
as we hasten to give, yet we steal.
For, in humble esteem, the man beggars his dream,
and a victim’s cry taints his appeal.
When, in the midst of our toil, we behold her,
the specter of what we might be,
let us never lose sight of the work that is right
and the earning of sweet dignity.
Let us each earn our own dignity.
The Bricklayer's Beautiful Daughter by William Stapleton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.