The Bridge Builder

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Will Allen Dromgoole

An old man, going 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; 
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 a bridge at the eventide?" 
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."