The Pilgrim Poem by Anonymous Std. 8 English Balbharati
The Pilgrim Poem by Anonymous is an adaptation of the original poem – The Bridge Builder BY WILL ALLEN DROMGOOLE
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The Pilgrim Poem by Anonymous Summary
This poem is about an old man who crosses a chasm during evening and realises that anybody who comes after him will have to face the same difficulties as him while crossing. So he builds a bridge for the unknown traveler who will follow later.
This poem also signifies that experienced people should make roads and pathways easier for the young people who follow.
The Pilgrim Poem meaning
A pilgrim going a lone highway,
Came, at evening cold and gray,
To a chasm, deep and vast and wide.
A pilgrim was on a journey on a highway that was probably the only way to his destination. Notice the stanza says – a lone highway – and not alone highway, so the highway was lonely and the pilgrim was not. When the evening came, it was cold. Gray could be the colour of the evening when there are a lot of clouds.
Chasm means a crack in land. This could be a cliff or a valley between two mountains or a river or stream that seperates two land masses. Here the poet says the chasm was deep, vast and wide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The chasm held no fear for him;
But he paused when he reached the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
It was quite dark. However, the old man was able to cross it without any fear. When he reached the other side, he stopped. He built a bridge so that anyone who came after him could cross the chasm.
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“Why waste your time in building here;
Your journey ends with the close of the day,
You never again will pass this way;
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build ye here at even tide?”
Another traveller saw what the old man was doing and told the old man not to waste time by building bridges for others. The evening was coming to an end and he was sure the old man was not going to come back this way. He asked why he was building a bridge when the old man had already crossed the chasm and it was already late in the evening. At the same time the old was would never be returning to the place again.
The pilgrim raised his old gray head,
“My friend, in the path I’ve come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today
A fair haired youth, who must pass this way.
The pilgrim replied to the fellow traveller that he knew a young man is following him and he will definitely come by this way.
The chasm which held no fears for me
To the fair haired youth, may a pitfall be,
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
My friend, I am building this bridge for him!”
The old man went on to explain that he was not afraid of the chasm, but the young man following him would probably fall into the chasm because when he comes by it may be evening at the time too. He was building a bridge so that he would not fall.
The Pilgrim – Theme Explanation
In a metaphorical sense we could say that an old man was on the journey we call life. The evening means he was quite old and his life was almost over – just like the day was getting over. Gray could also symbolize the old age of the old man who is walking on the highway of life. The chasm represents a big problem or problems he encountered during his journey.
Since the old man was experienced he did not feel any fear in taking care of the problem. However, he did not just take care of the problem and move on, but he made sure that the solutions to the problem that he had come accross were available to everyone who would also come accross such problems.
Another person enquired from the old man about the solutions he was building or probably documenting, for the problems he had encountered. The other person pointed out that the old man had almost completed his life and would die in the near future. He should be walking towards the end instead of worrying about the problems that he had already overcome.
The old man pointed out and replied that he had come down a path which was very new to him. Someday another man would follow the same way. The old man explained that he had found the solution to the problem probably because of his experience, but the person who comes after him may not be able to do so. It is possible that another person may encounter the same problem when he is also old, but unlike the old man he may not be able to find the solution. That is why he was taking such pains to make sure the problem would be made easier for people who come later.
The Pilgrim Poem 8th std Question and Answers
(a) What fatal dangers / problems did mankind face centuries ago, but are no longer a threat today?
Earlier mankind did not have basic hygiene facilities. Infant mortality rate was high and performing surgeries wasn’t easy. Many medicines weren’t invented and it was easy to die of diseases that we do not fear today. Small Pox, Cholera, Tuberculosis and Polio were considered incurable. People used to die young. There were many problems in day to day life. Travelling is easy since vehicles have been invented. We don’t think twice before planning long distance travel.
(b) Name a few scientists / explorers /social reformers / inventors / discoverers, who spent most of their lives to find solutions to some major problems / setbacks, that mankind faced.
Albert Einstein and Newton are a couple of scientists who discovered scientific formula that we use today. Christopher Columbus and Vasco Da Gama were a couple of European explorers who found new routes. Thomas Alva Edison invented the light bulb. Heinrich Hertz discovered radio waves in the late 1880s and Guglielmo Marconi invented the radio. The Wright brothers invented the flying machine.
(c) Did they themselves suffer from those problems / setbacks?
Einstein faced many challenges in finding a suitable position according to his work. Guglielmo Marconi did not have money and faced a lot of technical problems before he invented the radio. Thomas Alva Edison developed hearing problems at the age of 12 and faced a series of problems before inventing the light bulb. The Wright brothers too faced technical issues and weather problems before they could successfully fly their plane.