This week my grade 11 class read this beautiful poem entitled “The Bridge Builder” from the textbook. As we read and discussed this poem, I was personally stunned by the message sent through this masterpiece.
THE BRIDGE BUILDER
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 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.’
~ Will Allen Dromgoole ~
“There followeth after me today, a youth, whose feet must pass this way… I am building the bridge for him.” It is never a waste of time and strength building the lives of the young.
It is an honor for me to say this: I am a teacher, and I am that bridge builder. –