Arbor Vitae
Beside the golden gate there grows a tree
Whose heavy fruit gives entrance to the ways
Of Wonder, and the leaves thereof are days
Of desolation—nights of agony
The buds and blossom for the fruits to be:
Rooted in terror the dead trunk decays,
The burdened branches drooping to the clays
Clammy with blood of crushed humanity.
But lo the fruit! Sweet-bitter, red and white,
Better than wine—better than timely death
When surfeited with sorrow—Lo the bright
Mansions beyond the gate! And Love, thy breath
Fanning our flaming hearts where entereth
Thy Song of Songs with Love’s tumultuous light.

Webpage © 2001 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (
Created March 17, 2001; not revised.