AT THE FORK OF THE ROAD

At the fork of the road the turrets rise
Of the Half-way House to Paradise;
At the end of the path where we meet our dead,
And we rest there a while ere we forge ahead.

When forth together of old we fared,
'Twas the stopping places for which I cared:
Wayside hostelry, inn, or tent,
House or cabin held sweet content,
When under one roof we snugged together,
And little mattered the place or weather.

Wide were our wanderings hand in hand,
Far we journeyed by sea and land:
And the longest and hardest day found grace
In our tender thoughts of the resting place.

But now alone on my way I go,
And the thrill of motion is all I know.
To keep on going or East, or West,
Northward, or Southward, and with no quest,
Nowhere lingering under God's dome,
Since out of earth's lexicon death struck 'Home.'
No aim pursuing--(save day by day
Doing the duties that come my way);
No one seeking, since in no place
On the whole great globe can I see your face;
Alone for ever, though crowds are near--
It is so I must finish my journey here,
Until at the last my path shall blend
Into your own at the long day's end.

Where the two paths blend at the fork of the road
We will dwell together in love's abode;
We will rest and love for a thousand years
Before we journey to higher spheres:
We will live and love and dream and pray,
And a thousand years shall seem as a day.

Nowhere is rest for the soul of me
Till the House at the fork of the road I see.
I hurry along, but the time is slow
As ever alone on my way I go,
And the thrill of motion is all I know.

At the fork of the road the Rest House stands,
The Half-way House to Loftier Lands;
At the end of the path where dead meet dead
And live and love ere they forge ahead,
On the white steep path that must be trod
Alone by each soul as it goes to God.

Poems of affection. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1920.


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