The Stepping Stones by Wordsworth

The struggling rill insensibly is grown

Into a brook of loud and stately march,

Cross'd ever and anon by plank or arch;

And for like use, lo! what might seem a zone

Chosen for ornament—stone match'd with stone

In studied symmetry, with interspace

The Stepping-stones.

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-swoll'n 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.