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This famous poem challenges us to live for those who come after us. What will you leave behind?

Will Allen Dromgoole wrote over 7,500 poems, 5,000 essays, and thirteen published books. This poem is one of her most famous. It was often reprinted and remains popular today.

“The Bridge Builder” poem is still a favorite of preachers and motivational speakers.

This poem is a tremendous preaching and teaching illustration. It reminds the listener that we have a responsibility to help those that will come after us by how we choose to live today.

What will you leave behind as you walk through this life?

  • Evidence of salvation?
  • A witness of God’s faithfulness?
  • Proof of God’s power?
  • A testimony of righteousness?

Some people will leave a wake of destruction created by their selfishness and rebellion against God.

Why do that when we can be bridge builders?

Wikipedia says that an excerpt of this poem appears on a plaque at the Bellows Falls, Vermont Vilas Bridge, spanning the Connecticut River between southern Vermont and New Hampshire.

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 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!”

Let’s be bridge builders!