The Veil and other poems/Hospital
Welcome! Enter ! This is the Inn at the
Sign of the Rising Sun, of the World's End:
Ay, O Wanderer, footsore, weary, forsaken,
Knock, and we will open to thee—Friend.
Gloomy our stairs of stone, obscure the portal;
Burdened the air with a breath from the further shore;
Yet in our courtyard plays an invisible fountain,
Ever flowers unfading nod at the door.
Ours is much company, and yet none is lonely;
Some with a smile may pay and some with a sigh;
So all be healed, restored, contented—it is no matter—
So all be happy at heart to bid good-bye.
But know, our clocks are the world's; Night's wings
Pain languidly sports with the hours; have
We wake but to bring thee slumber, our drowsy syrups
Sleep beyond dreams on the weary will confer.
Ghosts may be ours; but gaze thou not too closely
If haply in chill of the dark thou rouse to see
One silent of foot, hooded, and hollow of visage,
Pause, with secret eyes, to peer out at thee.
He is the Ancient Tapster of this Hostel,
To him at length even we all keys must resign;
And if he beckon, Stranger, thou too must follow—
Love and all peace be thine.