English Poems Index
The Bridge Builder :
An old man, going a lone highway,
Came, the even in old 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 the 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."
By Will Allen Dromgoole
About The Poet :
Will Allen Dromgoole (l860-1934) was born in Tennessee. She had published thirteen books, 7,500 poems and 5,000 columns of essays, making her one of the most prolific of Tennessee writers.
Words to Know :
Lone : all alone
Chasm : a deep, narrow opening in rock or ice
Sullen : in an unhappy mood
Tide : the alternate rising and falling of the sea
Twilight : darkness setting in the evening
Span : distance between two points, especially time
Eventide : (here) old age
Naught : nothing
Pitfall : an unexpected difficulty