he stepping stones

Crossing this rushing river grown from a quiet stream, an old man strains across stepping stones that a young man would consider fun.

The Stepping Stones

— by William Wordsworth

The struggling Rill insensibly is grown Into a Brook of loud and stately march, Crossed ever and anon by plank or arch; And, for like use, lo! what might seem a zone Chosen for ornament--stone matched with stone In studied symmetry, with interspace For the clear waters to pursue their race Without restraint. How swiftly have they flown, Succeeding-—still succeeding! Here the Child Puts, when the high-swolln Flood runs fierce and wild, His budding courage to the proof; and here Declining Manhood learns to note the sly And sure encroachments of infirmity, Thinking how fast time runs, life’s end how near!