This Idol and its Shrine

This idol and its shrine of flesh
      Are mine,  and I am here alone:
And I can break at my desire
       What is my own.
I have obeyed my nature, lived
       And suffered,  reasoned and believed,
According to the elements
       That I received:
Exhausted what exists on earth,
       Desired in vain that which is not,
Dreamt will and power were one,  fulfilled
       My human lot,
Aspired to the stars,  fought with myself,
       Mixed and confounded all things here,
Worn out my strength -  What more have I
       To hope or fear?

Far friend who lighted once wild hopes
      Within my heart and fanned the flame
That burnt to waste - With this,  with all,
      It is the same:
The spirit escalades the heavens,
      The shackled body keeps its chains.
The heart is prodigal of pledges,
      The hand refrains.
You opened once all Paradise
      Before my eyes,  then reached your hand
And shut the portal  - I believed,
      And here I stand,
Irrevocably undeceived,
      Alone outside the iron gate,
Desolate and resolved. Today
      You will come too late.

Ann Keith

If you have any comments on this poem, Ann Keith would be pleased to hear from you.