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    I.   Table of Contents     III.

Menken, Adah Isaacs

- II.


The little golden key which the first angel entrusted to
The gates are closed, and I may not enter.
Yet arrayed in folds of white, these angels are more
terrible to me than the fabled watcher of the Hesperides
golden treasures.
Because it is I alone of all God's creatures that am shut
For others the bolts are withdrawn, and the little book
With wistful eyes, and longing heart, I wander in the
distance, waiting for the angels to sleep.
Tremblingly I peer through the gloaming of horrid
shadows, and visions of wasted moments.
But the white eyelids of the angels never droop.
In vain I plead to them that it was I who built the
In vain do I tell them that it was I who gemmed it with
Faith and Truth, and the dews of my life's morn.
In vain do I tell them that they are my hopes which
they stand in solemn guard to watch.
In vain do I plead my right as queen of the starry highway.
In vain do I bind my golden tresses with the pale lilies
of the valley.
In vain do I display to them my purple broadened robes,
and the silver badge of God's eternal bards that I wear on
my white bosom.
In vain do I wind my soft arms around their silver-sandaled
They heed me not.
But point to the whirlpool called the world.
Must the warm, living, loving soul a wander be?
Are all its yearnings vain?
Are all its prayings vain?
Will there be no light to guide me?
Will there be strong arm at the helm?
Must the full lamp of life wane so early?
Ah, I see, all is lost--lost--lost!

    I.   Table of Contents     III.