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Poem by Harriet Beecher Stowe
'Behold, I stand at the door and knock.' Knocking, knocking, ever knocking? Who is there? 'T is a pilgrim, strange and kingly, Never such was seen before;- Ah, sweet soul, for such a wonder Undo the door. No,-that door is hard to open; Hinges rusty, latch is broken; Bid Him go. Wherefore, with that knocking dreary Scare the sleep from one so weary? Say Him,-no. Knocking, knocking, ever knocking? What! Still there? O sweet soul, but once behold Him, With the glory-crowned hair; And those eyes, so strange and tender, Waiting there; Open! Open! Once behold Him,- Him, so fair. Ah, that door! Why wilt Thou vex me, Coming ever to perplex me? For the key is stiffly rusty, And the bolt is clogged and dusty; Many-fingered ivy-vine Seals it fast with twist and twine; Weeds of years and years before Choke the passage of that door. Knocking! Knocking! What! still knocking? He still there? What's the hour? The night is waning,- In my heart a drear complaining, And a chilly, sad unrest! Ah, this knocking! It disturbs me, Scares my sleep with dreams unblest! Give me rest, Rest,-ah, rest! Rest, dear soul, He longs to give thee; Thou hast only dreamed of pleasure, Dreamed of gifts and golden treasure, Dreamed of jewels in thy keeping, Waked to weariness of weeping;- Open to thy soul's one Lover, And thy night of dreams is over,- The true gifts He brings have seeming More than all thy faded dreaming! Did she open? Doth she? Will she? So, as wondering we behold, Grows the picture to a sign, Pressed upon your soul and mine; For in every breast that liveth Is that strange, mysterious door;- Though forsaken and betangled, Ivy-gnarled and weed-bejangled, Dusty, rusty, and forgotten;- There the pierced hand still knocketh, And with ever patient watching, With the sad eyes true and tender, With the glory-crowned hair,- Still a God is waiting there.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe's other poems:
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