Building the Bridge

An old man, going a lone highway,
Came, at evening, cold and Grey,
To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide,
Thru which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim:
The sullen stream had no fears to 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 pitfall be.

He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."

[ Will Allen Dromgoole -- from 'Guidewords' ]


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