The Bridge Builder

An old man, going a lone highway,
Came in the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm fast and deep and wide,
Through which was blowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fears for him,
But he stopped when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man”, said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day.
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm deep and wide – 
Why build this bridge at 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, which has been as not for me,
To that fair-haired youth might a pitfall be,
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”