Luke Havergal

By Edwin Arlington Robinson 1869–1935 Edwin Arlington Robinson
Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal,
There where the vines cling crimson on the wall,
And in the twilight wait for what will come.
The leaves will whisper there of her, and some,
Like flying words, will strike you as they fall;
But go, and if you listen she will call.
Go to the western gate, Luke Havergal—
Luke Havergal.

No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies
To rift the fiery night that’s in your eyes;
But there, where western glooms are gathering,
The dark will end the dark, if anything:
God slays Himself with every leaf that flies,
And hell is more than half of paradise.
No, there is not a dawn in eastern skies—
In eastern skies.

Out of a grave I come to tell you this,
Out of a grave I come to quench the kiss
That flames upon your forehead with a glow
That blinds you to the way that you must go.
Yes, there is yet one way to where she is,
Bitter, but one that faith may never miss.
Out of a grave I come to tell you this—
To tell you this.

There is the western gate, Luke Havergal,
There are the crimson leaves upon the wall.
Go, for the winds are tearing them away,—
Nor think to riddle the dead words they say,
Nor any more to feel them as they fall;
But go, and if you trust her she will call.
There is the western gate, Luke Havergal—
Luke Havergal.

Source: Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2004)

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Edwin Arlington Robinson 1869–1935

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Living, Love, Nature, Relationships, Sorrow & Grieving, Fall, Death, Heartache & Loss

Occasions Farewells & Good Luck

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Persona

 Edwin  Arlington Robinson

Biography

“One of the most prolific major American poets of the twentieth century, Edwin Arlington Robinson is, ironically, best remembered for only a handful of short poems,” stated Robert Gilbert in the Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography. Fellow writer Amy Lowell declared in the New York Times Book Review, “Edwin Arlington Robinson is poetry. I can think of no other living writer who has so consistently dedicated his life . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Love, Nature, Relationships, Sorrow & Grieving, Fall, Death, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Persona

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.