THERE, close the door!
I shall not need these lodgings any more.
Now that I go, dismantled wall and floor
Reproach me and deplore.
“How well,” they say,
“And silently we served you day by day –
Took every mood, as you were sad or gay
In that strange mortal way.”
Seem half to know what suffering befalls
The steadfast soul whom destiny appals
And circumstance enthralls.
Dim as an orchard, quiet as a wood;
My six mute friends who stolidly withstood
Tempest and turmoil rude;
One door, where through
Came human love in little gown and shoe;
One window, where great Nature robed in blue
Smiled benediction too;
And one hearthstone,
The kind primeval fire-god made his own –
Bringing us back the wood life we had known,
With lighted log and cone.
Here life was spent
To glorify one mortal tenement,
Where freedom turned the key on discontent
And bade the world relent.
With one farewell
I leave you now, with not a word to tell
Where comedy and moonshine used to dwell
Within a brick-built cell.
In days to be
Others shall laugh here, roister and make free,
Be bold or gay – but no such comedy
As blessed this life for me.
In nights to come
Others shall dream here, radiant or glum,
Pondering the book God gives us each to thumb –
Our page to solve and sum –
Such moonshine as would tread this square of floor,
And for love’s sake illumine and explore
The dark at sorrow’s core.
“The sad Pierrot
Lived here and loved” – how will the story go? –
“Caught rapture from the moment’s zest or woe,
One winter long ago.
“Here did Pierrette
Throw dice with destiny to pay love’s debt,
Gay, kind and fearless, without one regret
When the last stake was set.”
Peace, peace, fair room –
My peace be with them still, through shine and gloom,
Who here may sojourn, ere they too resume
This search for house and home.
Now, to explore!
The impatient wind is in the corridor;
Fate lays a finger on my sleeve once more;
And I must close this door.
Source: Ross, Malcolm, editor. Poets of the Confederation. McClelland and Stewart Ltd, 1960.
Photo Credit to Martha Jane Cordell via FreeImages.com: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/open-door-1482507