Sunday, 8 September 2013

Poetry Week 2013 - The Builder

The Builder
A builder builded a temple.
He wrought it with grace and skill;
Pillars and groins and arches
All fashioned to work his will.
Men said, as they saw its beauty,
'It shall never know decay.
Great is thy skill, O Builder!
Thy fame shall endure for aye.'

A teacher builded a temple
With loving and infinite care,
Planning each arch with patience,
Laying each stone with prayer.
None praised her unceasing efforts.
None knew of her wondrous plan,
For the temple the teacher builded
Was unseen by the eyes of man.

Gone is the builder's temple,
Crumbled into the dust.
Low lies each stately pillar,
Food for consuming rust.
But the temple the teacher builded
Will last while the ages roll,
For that beautiful unseen temple
Was a child's immortal soul. 
Author unknown

To kick off Beside The Creek's Poetry Week, the Ballarat Interfaith Network's President, Elham Jamali, has contributed this poem.  Elham is an organiser of Soul Food Ballarat.  

Soul Food is a unique monthly event held at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, providing an opportunity to relax in a tranquil environment and reflect on inspiring themes and common threads that tie us all together.It features music, audio-visual pieces and readings from various faiths and philosophers, authors, leaders and indigenous cultures, from all over the world.Soul food is a free community event open to all.10:30 am- 11:30 amSecond Sunday of every monthArt Gallery of BallaratAnnexe40 Lydiard street 0423242972
Pictures above were sourced from


  1. Hi Brigid, lovely poem,
    Ps I just wondered on the word builded? (built?)

  2. Dear Anon, this is a rather old poem from a time when they did rather interesting things with words - to fit them into the scan, the rhythm. I wish I could think of a few similar instances but I haven't delved into Victorian (the period not the state) poetry for quite a while. However, you will find abbreviations and a number of devices that poets use to suit their situation. This is one of the things with poetry - using language in a manner that can differ markedly from straight prose. A brief net search will show various sources for this poem all with the word "builded".


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