THROUGH the strait gate of passion,
Between the bickering fire
Where flames of fierce love tremble
On the body of fierce desire:
To the intoxication,
The mind, fused down like a bead,
Flees in its agitation
The flames’ stiff speed:
At last to calm incandescence,
Burned clean by remorseless hate,
Now, at the day’s renascence
We approach the gate.
Now, from the darkened spaces
Of fear, and of frightened faces,
Death, in our awful embraces
Approached and passed by;
We near the flame-burnt porches
Where the brands of the angels, like torches
Whirl,–in these perilous marches
Pausing to sigh;
We look back on the withering roses,
The stars, in their sun-dimmed closes,
Where ’twas given us to repose us
Sure on our sanctity;
Beautiful, candid lovers,
Burnt out of our earthy covers,
We might have nestled like plovers
In the fields of eternity.
There, sure in sinless being,
All-seen, and then all-seeing,
In us life unto death agreeing,
We might have lain.
But we storm the angel-guarded
Gates of the long-discarded,
Garden, which God has hoarded
Against our pain.
The Lord of Hosts, and the Devil
Are left on Eternity’s level
Field, and as victors we travel
To Eden home.
Back beyond good and evil
Return we. Eve dishevel
Your hair for the bliss-drenched revel
On our primal loam.