Behind the Arras: A Book of the Unseen

by Bliss Carman


At the Granite Gate


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.