An old man traveling 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 held no fears for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side,
And builded a bridge to span the tide.
"Old man," cried a fellow pilgrim near,
"You're wasting your time in building here.
Your journey will end with the closing day;
You never again will pass this way.
You have crossed the chasm deep and wide,
Why build you this bridge at even-tide?"
The Builder lifted his old 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 stream, which has been as naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may pitfall be:
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim.
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."