Guest poem sent in by andreea cioloca
(Poem #1219) Luke Havergal
Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal, There where the vines cling crimson on the wall, And in the twilight wait for what will come. The leaves will whisper there of her, and some, Like flying words, will strike you as they fall; But go, and if you listen she will call. Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal Luke Havergal. No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies To rift the fiery night that's in your eyes; But there, where western glooms are gathering, The dark will end the dark, if anything: God slays Himself with every leaf that flies, And hell is more than half of paradise. No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies In eastern skies. Out of a grave I come to tell you this, Out of a grave I come to quench the kiss That flames upon your forehead with a glow That blinds you to the way that you must go. Yes, there is yet one way to where she is, Bitter, but one that faith may never miss. Out of a grave I come to tell you this To tell you this. There is the western gate, Luke Havergal, There are the crimson leaves upon the wall. Go, for the winds are tearing them away, Nor think to riddle the dead words they say, Nor any more to feel them as they fall; But go, and if you trust her she will call. There is the western gate, Luke Havergal Luke Havergal.
(From "The Children of the Night", Collected Poems, 1921) I like this poem for many reasons. The western gate suggests a kind of portal between life and death that reminds me of all the Greek myths where someone had to go down into Hades by the river Styx entrance, and of the poem "Gates of Damascus". I won't get into possible meanings -- there are so many! -- but I'd love to see what other people think this poem is about! andreea