All Quiet along the Potomac and other poems/The Doorway of Sleep

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THE DOORWAY OF SLEEP.


THERE'S a strangely solemn moment
 When, outside the tent of sleep,
We lay out beyond its circle,
 All we love for God to keep.

Then, before the doorway waiting,
 Must we bid a day good-bye,

Knowing that its shifting moments
 Crystallized for ever lie.

Then, through tangled, tattered fringes,
 Made of dreams, the soul must creep,
Ere it find the soft enrobing
 Of the fleecy folds of sleep.

Then the sentinels He gave us,
 Warders willing, strong and true,
Ask for furloughs until morning,
 That their strength they may renew,

Wearing yet both arms and armor,
 Low they lie about the door,
Pillowed on the bending poppies
 Till the dawn shall come once more.

Will they all, these loyal Senses,
 Waken at my lightest call?
Will I find that new to-morrow
 Like this vanished day at all?

Will the love I covet meet me?
 Will the health I boast be mine?
And the golden sun in heaven
 Gladden eyes that love its shine?

With a strange reluctant footstep
 Bid I world and life good-night,
Knowing never, what the morrow
 May illumine with its light.


Yet I ll trust to Him the morning,
 Life and love and sense to spare,
Drop the curtain at the doorway
 And pin it with a childish prayer.