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Poems
Church—door Should Still Stand Open
(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

Church—door Should Still Stand Open

Church-doors should still stand open, night and day,
Open to all who come for praise or prayer,
Laden with gift of love or load of care,
Nimbused with gold, or flecked with locks of gray,
Mother, or snow-white bride, or pallid clay,
The blithe, the sad, the uncomely as the fair,
Each on his secret errand wending there,
Nor even the mighty and strong be turned away.
And so the poet's heart should ever be
Portal of joy and welcomer of woe,
That makes the deaf to hear, the blind to see,
Open confessional for high and low,
An unshut shrine where all may come and go,
And by their tears an enriched sanctuary.

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