All Commentary
Wednesday, June 1, 1960

The Thinker

Back of the beating hammer

By which the steel is wrought,

Back of the workshop’s clamor

The seeker may find the Thought

The Thought that is ever master

Of iron and steam and steel,

That rises above disaster

And tramples it under heel!


The drudge may fret and tinker

Or labor with lusty blows,

But back of him stands the Thinker,

The clear-eyed man who knows;

For into each plow or saber,

Each piece and part and whole,

Must go the Brains of Labor,

Which gives the work a soul!


Back of the motors humming,

Back of the bells that sing,

Back of the hammers drumming,

Back of the cranes that swing,

There is the eye which scans them

Watching through stress and strain,

There is the Mind which plans them

Back of the brawn, the Brain!


Might of the roaring boiler,

Force of the engine’s thrust,

Strength of the sweating toiler

Greatly in these we trust.

But back of them stands the Schemer,

The Thinker who drives things through;

Back of the Job—the Dreamer

Who’s making the dream come true!