The Bridge Builder

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

English Poems Index

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