The Chamber Over The Gate

The Chamber Over The Gate

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Chamber Over The Gate


Is it so far from thee

Thou canst no longer see,

In the Chamber over the Gate,

That old man desolate,

Weeping and wailing sore

For his son, who is no more?

O Absalom, my son!


Is it so long ago

That cry of human woe

From the walled city came,

Calling on his dear name,

That it has died away

In the distance of to-day?

O Absalom, my son!


There is no far or near,

There is neither there nor here,

There is neither soon nor late,

In that Chamber over the Gate,

Nor any long ago

To that cry of human woe,

O Absalom, my son!


From the ages that are past

The voice sounds like a blast,

Over seas that wreck and drown,

Over tumult of traffic and town;

And from ages yet to be

Come the echoes back to me,

O Absalom, my son!


Somewhere at every hour

The watchman on the tower

Looks forth, and sees the fleet

Approach of the hurrying feet

Of messengers, that bear

The tidings of despair.

O Absalom, my son!


He goes forth from the door

Who shall return no more.

With him our joy departs;

The light goes out in our hearts;

In the Chamber over the Gate

We sit disconsolate.

O Absalom, my son!


That ‘t is a common grief

Bringeth but slight relief;

Ours is the bitterest loss,

Ours is the heaviest cross;

And forever the cry will be

“Would God I had died for thee,

O Absalom, my son!”



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