The Chamber Over The Gate


    Is it so far from thee
    Thou canst no longer see,
    In the Chamber over the Gate,
    That old man desolate,
    Weeping and wailing sore
    For his son, who is no more?
        O Absalom, my son!

    Is it so long ago
    That cry of human woe
    From the walled city came,
    Calling on his dear name,
    That it has died away
    In the distance of to-day?
        O Absalom, my son!

    There is no far or near,
    There is neither there nor here,
    There is neither soon nor late,
    In that Chamber over the Gate,
    Nor any long ago
    To that cry of human woe,
        O Absalom, my son!

    From the ages that are past
    The voice sounds like a blast,
    Over seas that wreck and drown,
    Over tumult of traffic and town;
    And from ages yet to be
    Come the echoes back to me,
        O Absalom, my son!

    Somewhere at every hour
    The watchman on the tower
    Looks forth, and sees the fleet
    Approach of the hurrying feet
    Of messengers, that bear
    The tidings of despair.
        O Absalom, my son!

    He goes forth from the door
    Who shall return no more.
    With him our joy departs;
    The light goes out in our hearts;
    In the Chamber over the Gate
    We sit disconsolate.
        O Absalom, my son!

    That 't is a common grief
    Bringeth but slight relief;
    Ours is the bitterest loss,
    Ours is the heaviest cross;
    And forever the cry will be
    "Would God I had died for thee,
        O Absalom, my son!"


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Return to the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; The Childrens Crusade - [A Fragment.]

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