The Bridge Builder

By Will Allen Dromgoole 1860–1934
An old man going 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 had no fear 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 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 followed after me to-day
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as 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 this bridge for him!”

Source: Father: An Anthology of Verse (EP Dutton & Company, 1931)

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Poet Will Allen Dromgoole 1860–1934

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Living, Parenthood, Relationships, Family & Ancestors

Holidays Father's Day

Biography

Will Allen Dromgoole was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. A prolific author who wrote novels, plays, and more than 8,000 poems, she was the author of the best-selling novel The Island of the Beautiful (1911). For almost 30 years she wrote a column for the Nashville Banner called “Song and Story,” which recounted the life and times of Tennessee locals.

Dromgoole was educated at the New England School of Expression in Boston, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Parenthood, Relationships, Family & Ancestors

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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