The Bridge Builder
poem by Will Allen Dromgoole (1860-1934)
An old man, traveling a lone highway,
Came at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim
That sullen stream had no fears for him;
But he turned, when he reached the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.
Good friend, said a fellow traveller near,
You are wasting strength in building here.
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way.
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide.
Why build you the bridge at the evening tide?"
The builder lifted his old gray head.
Good friend, in the path I have come, he said,
There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.