The Outer Gate

Nora May French

Life said: “My house is thine with all its store;
Behold I open shining ways to thee—
Of every inner portal make thee free:
O child, I may not bar the outer door.
Go from me if thou wilt, to come no more;
But all thy pain is mine, thy flesh of me;
And must I bear thee, faint and woefully,
Call on me from the darkness and implore?”

Nay, mother, for I follow at thy will.
But oftentimes thy voice is sharp to hear,
Thy trailing fragrance heavy on the breath;
Always the outer hall is very still,
And on my face a pleasant wind and clear
Blows straitly from the narrow gate of Death.

Nora May French, 1881-1907

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