The Universal Life

Wide open stands the door of my soul

And the world's men and women troop through ;
Some weeping, some laughing, some dumb with despair,

Wearing roses, and fennel, and rue ;
And the beat of their feet makes a martial refrain —
Come in, I am waiting for you.

Wide open stands the door of my soul.
And the victor and vanquished tramp in ;

Come the makers of music immortal and sweet.
Come the stirrers of conflict and din ;

And their voices sound loud as the roar of the sea —
O voices, I bid you come in.

Wide open stands the door of my soul.
And the noble, the brave, the soul-freed

Come wearing the palm that they won with their pain.
Come the puny souls fettered with greed ;

And I greet with my best love the soul of the serf,
Which the valiant and pure cannot need.

Wide open stands the door of my soul.
And the lover and loved one stand there.

I am glad that the lover is tender and true.
That the loved one is blooming and fair ;

 


from Songs of a Factory Girl (London: Headley Brothers, 1911), © Ethel Carnie Holdsworth 1911, used by permission of the copyright holder Helen Brown.

Sponsor this poem

Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.

Recordings

Books by Ethel Carnie Holdsworth