Frank Dempster Sherman


Eternity Lane

by Frank Dempster Sherman

The fence on either side is down,
Or buried under vines and bushes,
Save where, determined not to drown,
A picket through the tangle pushes.

On its gray peak the birds alight
And trill their carols brief and tender;
All day a beacon, golden bright,
It shines in solitary splendor.

But through the creepers' leafy wall
No gleam of sunlight ever passes
To break the night that shadows all
The cobwebbed growth of groping grasses.

The rain that rattles on the leaves
Outside with such a happy laughter,
Once captive in this prison, grieves
For light and liberty long after.

No traveler for years has set
His foot upon the pathway hidden;
Nor through the weeds forever wet
For years has any horseman ridden.

No rut remains of wagon-road;
The gateway has no gate to span it;
Only the bat and bulging toad
Dare venture past the posts of granite.

One dreams, so silent is the place
With all its life and light departed,
That Time has finished here the race,
And now Eternity has started!


Lyrics For A Lute
Copyright 1890
Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin, and Company