The Great War

from More Songs By the Fighting Men, an electronic edition

The Gate

MUSING alone beside my midnight fire

On some old tale of bygone chivalry,

I heard upon the wind's unending sigh

The muffled feet of many thousand years.

I saw them pass, grey-cloaked and travel-stained.

Toward a crystal gate beyond the stars.

He that is called the Builder came to me

And took me by the hand, and then he spake:

" This is the Gate through which the years must pass

To be absolved from the Eternal Curse

And lay aside their shabby cloak of sin.

Brave men have brought their strength and gentleness,

Children have brought their laughter, women tears

For stones to build the Crystal Gateā€”and thou?"