At The Granite Gate

A poem by William Bliss Carman

There paused to shut the door
A fellow called the Wind.
With mystery before,
And reticence behind,

A portal waits me too
In the glad house of spring,
One day I shall pass through
And leave you wondering.

It lies beyond the marge
Of evening or of prime,
Silent and dim and large,
The gateway of all time.

There troop by night and day
My brothers of the field;
And I shall know the way
Their woodsongs have revealed.

The dusk will hold some trace
Of all my radiant crew
Who vanished to that place,
Ephemeral as dew.

Into the twilight dun,
Blue moth and dragon-fly
Adventuring alone,--
Shall be more brave than I?

There innocents shall bloom
And the white cherry tree,
With birch and willow plume
To strew the road for me.

The wilding orioles then
Shall make the golden air
Heavy with joy again,
And the dark heart shall dare

Resume the old desire,
The exigence of spring
To be the orange fire
That tips the world's gray wing.

And the lone wood-bird--Hark,
The whippoorwill night long
Threshing the summer dark
With his dim flail of song!--

Shall be the lyric lift,
When all my senses creep,
To bear me through the rift
In the blue range of sleep.

And so I pass beyond
The solace of your hand.
But ah, so brave and fond!
Within that morrow land,

Where deed and daring fail,
But joy forevermore
Shall tremble and prevail
Against the narrow door,

Where sorrow knocks too late,
And grief is overdue,
Beyond the granite gate
There will be thoughts of you.

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