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The Bridge Builder

An old man, going a lone highway,

Came at the evening, cold and gray,

To chasm, vast and deep and wide,

Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

 

The old man crossed in the twilight dim;

The sullen stream had no fears for him;

But he turned when safe on the other side

And built a bridge to span the tide.

 

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,

“You are wasting strength with 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 eventide?”

 

The builder lifted his old grey 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 pit-fall be,

 

He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;

Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”

Will Allen Dromgoole