The Creaking Door

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Come in, old Ghost of all that used to be!
You find me old,
And love grown cold,
And fortune fled to younger company:
Departed, as the glory of the day,
With friends! And you, it seems, have come to stay.
'T is time to pray.

Come; sit with me, here at Life's creaking door,
All comfortless.
Think, nay! then, guess,
What was the one thing, eh? that made me poor?
The love of beauty, that I could not bind?
My dream of truth? or faith in humankind?
But, never mind!

All are departed now, with love and youth,
Whose stay was brief;
And left but grief
And gray regret two jades, who tell the truth;
Whose children memories of things to be,
And things that failed, within my heart, ah me!
Cry constantly.

None can turn time back, and no man delay
Death when he knocks.
What good are clocks,
Or human hearts, to stay for us that day
When at Life's creaking door we see his smile,
Death's! at the door of this old House of Trial?
Old Ghost, let's wait awhile

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