We're scouts in the vanguard of Civilization
Sent forth in a haphazard style
To clear up the way for the vast occupation
That follows us--after a while.
Through jungle and desert and plain we are driving
The roads we set out to prepare,
But once the great "home-making" crowd starts arriving
We will not, I fancy, be there!

To desks in an office nobody could clamp us
And that's why we wandered from home,
From store and from shop and collegiate campus
To work under heaven's blue dome!
We lay out the grade, and we see that it's metaled;
The country we blue-print and plat,
But when it begins to be humdrum and settled--
We go somewhere else, after that!

We pick sites for cities--and never live in them;
We build power-dams--then we blow;
We put in the turbines--and let others spin them,
While we find a new place to go.
For there are still places--thank God!--in creation
For rovers and light-footed bums,
Behold us, the vanguard of Civilization
Who beat it away when it comes!

Published in: Frontier - November 1926

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