Originally published in Wonder magazine
The question as I near this door
Is, do I even dare
To enter past it any more,
When ghosts await me there?
Not such as rise from frozen fear
That heroes laugh to scorn,
Nay these, by wearing faces dear,
Draw blood with sorrow’s thorn.
My heart still thirsts in tired quest
For these beloved gone;
Shades born of longing promise rest
But leave me still alone.
Each day I see these visions of
Where it seems they should be,
Faces of those whom I still love,
And yearn again to see.
Ah ghosts of grief! how can it be
That joys so sweet and pure
Become, as living memory,
Most bitter to endure?
These shades of dear ones ne’er console,
Yet I can’t bid them fly,
For each one’s past bonds with his soul,
Love’s imprint does not die.
My God! this love is all from Thee,
Thy Spirit joined our hearts,
Let Him then all our comfort be
While distance still us parts!
Let Him who brought our bond to birth
Now keep it warm and strong,
Be our communion ‘cross the earth,
Be Thyself us among!
Keep me for them, and them for me,
And make our love, in small,
Thy mighty sun, bright Trinity,
Untouched and over all;
Lord, pain will ne’er us overwhelm
With ghosts of memory,
If in Thy single Heart we dwell
In sweet reality.
Now will I enter through this door,
Be mem’ry e’er so keen,
And should I weep there any more,
God’s light will intervene,
Illumining a landscape dim
To eyes of fleshly ken,
Where all God’s own are joined in Him
Who needs no where nor when.