The Closed Door

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Shut it out of the heart this grief,
O Love, with the years grown old and hoary!
And let in joy that life is brief,
And give God thanks for the end of the story.

The bond of the flesh is transitory,
And beauty goes with the lapse of years
The brow's white rose and the hair's dark glory
God be thanked for the severing shears!

Over the past, Heart, waste no tears!
Over the past and all its madness,
Its wine and wormwood, hopes and fears,
That never were worth a moment's sadness.

Here she lies who was part o' its gladness,
Wife and mistress, and shared its woe,
The good of life as well as its badness,
Look on her face and see if you know.

Is this the face? yea, ask it slow!
The hair, the form, that we used to cherish?
Where is the glory of long-ago?
The beauty we said would never perish.

Like a dream we dream, or a thought we nourish,
Nothing of earth immortal is:
This is the end however we flourish
All that is fair must come to this.

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