Before the Door

O merely mortal wanderer in care
Stand thou with awe before the portal, Death!
With every action do thyself prepare
With every word and gesture, every breath!

Let call the hidden deeps within thy soul
Unto thine inner ear, obey each word
Ay, strive to keep the vouchsafed tenets whole
Which by thine heartfelt listening thou hast heard

Before that door, each moment, from thy birth
When in thy cradle thou didst fretful lie
Now strive to prove the measure of thy worth
'Ere thou art, unexpected, called to die

Then stand's thou peaceful, by much virtue made
Full gloriously calm, and unafraid!

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