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The Idealist

San Francisco, 1935

I shall build me a castle of sky-blue dreams,
Bounded by the sea and the sky,
With greatness and love as supporting beams,
Topping the clouds on high.

I shall build me a castle with walls of hope
And rooms with vision’s thews,
With a storehouse of faith with which to cope
The wormwood of scorn and abuse.

I shall build me a castle with walls too high
For the strongest of foes to scale.
I shall work with the thought but to do or die,
Trusting that I shall not fail.

I shall build me a castle with the stones of defeat
For defeat is the staff of the strong,
And pray to my God that I may compete
In the battle of right against wrong.

I shall build me a castle that has been built before
And decayed and crumbled to dust.
I shall build in the sight of ruins of yore,
Build with my soul’s stinging lust.

I shall build me a castle, though
I’ve built in the past
Castles that have crumbled, all.
I shall build me castles until the last
Crushes me in its hapless fall.

I shall build me a castle with halls for all,
Build with unconquerable will.
I shall build me a castle with vision my mold,
Failing or dying, shall build on still.