(For Aline)
When you shall die and to the sky
   Serenely, delicately go,
Saint Peter, when he sees you there,
   Will clash his keys and say:
“Now talk to her, Sir Christopher!
   And hurry, Michelangelo!
She wants to play at building,
   And you’ve got to help her play!”
Every architect will help erect
   A palace on a lawn of cloud,
With rainbow beams and a sunset roof,
   And a level star-tiled floor;
And at your will you may use the skill
   Of this gay angelic crowd,
When a house is made you will throw it down,
   And they’ll build you twenty more.
For Christopher Wren and these other men
   Who used to build on earth
Will love to go to work again
   If they may work for you.
“This porch,” you’ll say, “should go this way!”
   And they’ll work for all they’re worth,
And they’ll come to your palace every morning,
   And ask you what to do.
And when night comes down on Heaven-town
   (If there should be night up there)
You will choose the house you like the best
   Of all that you can see:
And its walls will glow as you drowsily go
   To the bed up the golden stair,
And I hope you’ll be gentle enough to keep
   A room in your house for me.

Webpage © 2001 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (
Created March 31, 2001; not revised.