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