Poetry of Kansas

The Farther Shore.

The night is long and lonely, and we wait
    With silent watchfulness, with sleepless fears,
For One who shall unlock the shining gate,
    And end the darkness of this night of tears.
Before us, through the gloom, a river runs,
    With silent tide, forever dark and chill;
Reflecting no white moons or golden suns,
    Tossed by no waves___so ghastly, calm and still!
No murmuring ripple and no friendly roar
    Warns, in the darkness, of the dangerous brink.
We know not, ever, whither lies the shore,
    Nor at what moment we may slip and sink.
Close at our feet may be these waters wide___
    So we grope darkly, and one footfall more
May be a leap into the swallowing tide,
    Where countless thousands have gone down before.
A chilling plunge___an end of life's swift dream___
    And still the river shall flow calmly on,
Aa silent as before. Oh, ruthless stream!
    So cold and pitiless thy waters run!
Yet this dark river has another shore,
    And yonder, yonder is the golden gate!
A flood of light shall break these waters o'er,
    When He unlocks it___He, for whom we wait.
Then shall the sleepers.wake. The hungry tide,
    His dead shall gather to his arms no more.
The glad and glorious throng, cleansed, purified,
    Shall stand in white upon the farther shore.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
by Ellen P. Allerton
Collected and Published by Eva Ryan
(Hiawatha: The Harrington Printing Co. 1894)
Page 250

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March 31, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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