Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN ARRIVAL, by JANE BARLOW

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

AN ARRIVAL, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Now haste thee, light thee down, thy doors unbar
Last Line: And hope thy bride, handfasted to despair.
Subject(s): Guests; Despair; Visiting

NOW haste thee, light thee down, thy doors unbar,
Though slumber hold thine eyes, though rest thy feet;
A guest draws nigh, who comes from very far,
And brings thee news, yea, tidings strange and sweet.
Make open, hie thee forth his steps to meet.—
I will not open, I, so late, too late;
I am weary. One sole guest I fain could greet,
And he will ask no leave, but enter straight.

Yet open swiftly, lest thou sorely rue;
'Tis verily thy own most dear Desire,
For whom thou hast waited all the long days through,
The slow, void days, in vain, and wouldst not tire;
For whom thy heart was storm, thy brain was fire.—
Alas, what sayest thou? Lo, thou couldst not take

Upon thy lips a name of dole so dire,
Though rifest 'twere where Hell's wild echoes wake.—
And how, in sooth, thus churl-wise chide him hence,
Who comes expectant of the banquet spread,
And rose-coloured chalice, soul-bliss thrilled to sense,
But fares a friend with foeman's welcome sped,
Finding for song, a wail; for joyance, dread?
Tell him: This house is ruin-rent and bare;
Delight hath flown afar, and youth is dead,
And Hope thy bride, handfasted to Despair.

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