The Golden Gate by Adelaide Anne Procter

Dim shadows gather thickly round, and up the misty stair they climb,
The cloudy stair that upward leads to where the closed portals shine,
Round which the kneeling spirits wait the opening of the Golden Gate.

And some with eager longing go, still pressing forward, hand in hand,
And some with weary step and slow, look back where their Beloved stand–
Yet up the misty stair they climb, led onward by the Angel Time.

As unseen hands roll back the doors, the light that floods the very air
Is but the shadow from within, of the great glory hidden there–
And morn and eve, and soon and late, the shadows pass within the gate.

As one by one they enter in, and the stern portals close once more,
The halo seems to linger round those kneeling closest to the door:
The joy that lightened from that place shines still upon the watcher’s face.

The faint low echo that we hear of far-off music seems to fill
The silent air with love and fear, and the world’s clamours all grow still,
Until the portals close again, and leave us toiling on in pain.

Complain not that the way is long–what road is weary that leads there?
But let the Angel take thy hand, and lead thee up the misty stair,
And then with beating heart await, the opening of the Golden Gate.

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