The Outer Gate

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;
 But all thy pain is mine, thy flesh of me;
 And must I hear 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,
  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.