The Kiplings and India: A Collection of Writings from British India, 1870-1900

A Locked Way (Rudyard Kipling)

"Open the Gate!
      "The dawn is very near at hand.
"My eyes are heavy, I have wandered late,
      "And trod the white road from a distant land
"That stretches 'neath the stars. Open the Gate! "

"What good is it?
      "I set the heavy bars up long ago.
"The lock is rusted; I have lost the key.
      "How should I open to my overthrow?
"O Youth's love, what have I to do with thee?"

"Open the Gate!
      "The night is passing—thou mayest see it pass.
"Behold, the upland hills are tipped with fire!
      "The dawn winds blow across the upland grass.
"The cocks crow. Open thou, my heart's desire!"

"That will not I.
      "This is no true day-break my sad eyes see.
"How shall I open? Broadens not one whit
      "The white light that so often mocked me.
"How shall I open to a lying cry?
       "What good is it?"
"Open the Gate!
      "The night is truly ended, O my dear!
"My feet are bleeding! I am sick to death!
      "Open the Gate! God's own red sun is here,
"The shadows flee, and the land quickeneth.
      "0 Love, for Pity, open thou the Gate!"

"Nay, then—for ruth
      "I open. I have little love for thee,
"And I am sorely changed since our youth,
      "And there is little beauty left in me...
"For Pity have I opened...but, in Truth,
   "I...had...not...thought...with Pity...Love might be."


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