The Chamber over the Gate

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The Chamber over the Gate
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
From Ultima Thule.

 Is it so far from thee
 Thou canst no longer see,
 In the Chamber over the Gate,
 That old man desolate,
 Weeping and wailing sore
 For his son, who is no more?
   O Absalom, my son!

 Is it so long ago
 That cry of human woe
 From the walled city came,
 Calling on his dear name,
 That it has died away
 In the distance of to-day?
   O Absalom, my son!

 There is no far or near,
 There is neither there nor here,
 There is neither soon nor late,
 In that Chamber over the Gate,
 Nor any long ago
 To that cry of human woe,
   O Absalom, my son!

 From the ages that are past
 The voice sounds like a blast,
 Over seas that wreck and drown,
 Over tumult of traffic and town;
 And from ages yet to be
 Come the echoes back to me,
   O Absalom, my son!

 Somewhere at every hour
 The watchman on the tower
 Looks forth, and sees the fleet
 Approach of the hurrying feet
 Of messengers, that bear
 The tidings of despair.
   O Absalom, my son!

 He goes forth from the door,
 Who shall return no more.
 With him our joy departs;
 The light goes out in our hearts;
 In the Chamber over the Gate
 We sit disconsolate.
   O Absalom, my son!

 That 'tis a common grief
 Bringeth but slight relief;
 Ours is the bitterest loss,
 Ours is the heaviest cross;
 And forever the cry will be
"Would God I had died for thee,
   O Absalom, my son!"