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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Author Unknown

The Gate of Heaven

SHE stood outside the gate of heaven, and saw them entering in,

A world-long train of shining ones, all washed in blood from sin.

The hero-martyr in the blaze uplifted his strong eye,

And trod firm the reconquered soil of his nativity!

And he who had despised his life, and laid it down in pain,

Now triumphed in its worthiness, and took it up again.

The holy one, who had met God in desert cave alone,

Feared not to stand with brethren around the Father’s throne.

They who had done, in darkest night, the deeds of light and flame,

Circled about with them as with a glowing halo came.

And humble souls, who held themselves too dear for earth to buy,

Now passed on through the golden gate, to live eternally.

And when into the glory the last of all did go,

“Thank God! there is a heaven,” she cried, “though mine is endless woe.”

The angel of the golden gate said, “Where then dost thou dwell?

And who art thou that enterest not?”—“A soul escaped from hell.”

“Who knows to bless with prayer like thine, in hell can never be;

God’s angel could not, if he would, bar up this door from thee.”

She left her sin outside the gate, she meekly entered there,

Breathed free the blessèd air of heaven, and knew her native air.