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Poem by Lewis Morris


Waking


OPEN, my soul, thy stately portals wide ;
Open full wide, and let thy King come in !
How shall he come ? In royal pomp and pride,
Ushered by braying trumpets' clamorous din ;
Clothed round with purple ; crowned with burning gold :
A kingly presence, glorious to behold ?

Nay ; for he is no mortal king, to come
With trumpet peals and crowds and garish state ;
But silent to the soul he makes his home,
He enters by some lowly postern gate !
And she, within her chambers far withdrawn,
Cries like the wakeful bird that greets the dawn.

It may be she is seated 'mid the throng,
Crowned with the flowers of life and youth and health ;
Thrilled through by breathing art or passionate song,
Or faint with hot pursuit of fame or wealth ;
Rapt by the glorious thoughts of saints or seers,
Or radiant with the blessed dew of tears.

And then the wicket swings without a sound,
And lo ! a ghostly presence, pale and gray,
Sad eyes which dwell not on the things around,
But gaze for ever on the Far-off Day!
Then a low voice, whispering, 'Thy King is come ;
Rejoice, be glad, for here he makes his home.'

Then rises she and hastens to the gate,
Her royal gate, and there she casts her down :
Prone at his feet bewails her low estate,
Yet prays him he will enter to his own !
Spurns from her all her robes of pride, and stands,
Knowing her shame, to do her Lord's commands,

Whom with a touch he fashions for her part;
Dowers with the precious gifts of bard or sage ;
The hand to fix the dreams of deathless art,
The imperial will, the patriot's noble rage:
Or fills with such fine affluence of love,
That she grows holy as the saints above.

Then open, O my soul ! thy portals wide,
Open, and let thy Lord and Ruler come ;
Open, if haply he may here abide,
And make within thee his eternal home.
Open thy gates, thy halls, thine inmost shrine,
Till all are flooded with the Light divine. 



                      Lewis Morris


Lewis Morris's other poems:
  1. A Cynic's Day-Dream
  2. The Reply
  3. A Yorkshire River
  4. The Living Past
  5. On an Old Minster


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