Verse > Anthologies > Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. > The Little Book of Modern Verse
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Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. (1869–1948).  The Little Book of Modern Verse.  1917.
 
131. The Outer Gate
 
By Nora May French
 
 
LIFE said: “My house is thine with all its store;
  Behold I open shining ways to thee—
  Of every inner portal make thee free:
O child, I may not bar the outer door.
Go from me if thou wilt, to come no more;        5
  But all thy pain is mine, thy flesh of me;
  And must I bear thee, faint and woefully,
Call on me from the darkness and implore?”
 
Nay, mother, for I follow at thy will.
  But oftentimes thy voice is sharp to hear,        10
    Thy trailing fragrance heavy on the breath;
Always the outer hall is very still,
  And on my face a pleasant wind and clear
    Blows straitly from the narrow gate of Death.
 

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