Old Spookses’ Pass, Malcolm’s Katie and Other Poems

by Isabella Valancy Crawford




    I marvel if my heart,
    Hath any room apart,
Built secretly its mystic walls within;
    With subtly warded key
    Ne’er yielded unto me—
Where even I have surely never been.

    Ah, surely I know all
    The bright and cheerful hall
With the fire ever red upon its hearth;
    My friends dwell with me there,
    Nor comes the step of Care
To sadden down its music and its mirth. [Page 119]

    Full well I know as mine
    The little cloister’d shrine
No foot but mine alone hath ever trod;
    There come the shining wings—
    The face of one who brings
The pray’rs of men before the throne of God.

    And many know full well,
    The busy, busy cell,
Where I toil at the work I have to do,
    Nor is the portal fast,
    Where stand phantoms of the past,
Or grow the bitter plans of darksome rue.

    I know the dainty spot
    (Ah, who doth know it not?)
Where pure young Love his lily-cradle made;
    And nestled some sweet springs
    With lily-spangled wings—
Forget-me-nots upon his bier I laid.

    Yet marvel I, my soul,
    Know I thy very whole,
Or dost thou hide a chamber still from me?
    Is it built upon the wall?
    Is it spacious? is it small?
Is it God, or man, or I who holds the key? [Page 120]