Musings in Maoriland
Passing Through the Gate
Passing Through the Gate.
Ten years of sorrow and of glee
Have fled since first you met with me,
When mother asked you home to tea:
You stayed until 'twas late, Jack;
And when you wished us all "Good night,"
To show you out I brought the light;
You caught my hand and pressed it tight
Whilst passing through the gate, Jack.
You came again, and when we met,
You said I was your darling pet,
You praised my hair and eyes of jet,
And called me "Pretty Kate," Jack;
At your approach, though Snap was dumb,
The cute old 'possum on the gum
Laughed loudly when he saw me come
To greet you at the gate, Jack.
A month had scarcely died away,
When on a bright-faced summer's day,
A coach and pair (the horses grey)—
My heart retains the date, Jack—
Drove up the lane, and stopped before
The rose-bush hedge that faced our door,
And two light bosoms, brimming o'er
With joy, passed through the gate, Jack.
And months of pleasure came and went,
And each new season brought content,
Three love-gifts unto us were sent;
Our happiness was great, Jack.
A manly boy, reflecting you,
And Lilly, with her orbs of blue,
And Kate with eyes of hazel hue—
Oh, blessings on that gate, Jack.
But angels sometimes leave their home,
And o'er earth's lovely valleys roam
In search of buds to deck the dome
Above God's throne of state, Jack;
They came into our garden fair,
And gathered up our flowerets rare;
Then climbing up yon starry stair,
They brought them through the gate, Jack.
The withered stalks fell 'neath the sod,
And sorrow hung o'er our abode;
Some said it was the "will of God,"
And others said 'twas "fate," Jack;
And summer came, and spring went by,
The world seemed blank to you and I—
No merry laugh, nor childish cry
Was heard about the gate, Jack.
But peace to us has come again;
We're linked to them with deathless chain.
Behind the sun, beyond the plain,
We know for us they wait, Jack;
And when we've run this earthly race,
In heaven for us they'll keep a place,
Where soul to soul, and face to face,
They'll meet us at the gate. Jack.