The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
For the sullen stream held no fears for him,
But he turned when he reached the other side,
And builded a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” cried a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
And you never again will pass this way.
“You have crossed the chasm deep and wide.
Why build you a bridge at eventide?”
And the builder raised his old gray head:
“Good friend, on the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet will pass this way.”
“This stream, which has been as naught to me,
To that fair-haired boy may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim –
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”