The Halfway House, Part IX       

There, to the west, the white walls rise,

     Shadowed against the sun,

Above whose ramparts wave the green

     Palms, and then the cross.


The donkeys hasten, stumbling home

     Through hills of twilit sand;

The traveller hopes this is the end

     Of seeing just the same.


Thing over and over again.

     Where, by the huge doors, water waits

The dangerous desert tribe, he sights

     The sun gone down.


The dreamed escape from what has been

     Dissolves and may be real:

Cry, like some ancient Theban call,

     Comes from a soul within.


The doors of future blessings grind

     Open in the dark;

And unknown voices sparkle

     With friendship in the place,

Long hidden from the restless mind,

     Of peace.