The Bridge Builder is a poem written by Will Allen Dromgoole. "The Bridge Builder" has been frequently reprinted, including on a plaque on the Bellows Falls, Vermont Vilas Bridge in New Hampshire. It continues to be quoted frequently, usually in a religious context or in writings stressing a moral lesson.
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 swollen tide. The old man crossed in the twilight dim; The rapids held no fears for him. But he turned when safe on the other side And built 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 gray head. “Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said, “There follows after me today A youth whose feet must pass this way. This stream, which has been as naught to me, To that fair youth may a pitfall be. He too must cross in the twilight dim — Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”