Dinah in Heaven

“The Woman in his Life”

She did not know that she was dead, 
  But, when the pang was o'er, 
Sat down to wait her Master's tread 
  Upon the Golden Floor, 

With ears full-cock and anxious eye 
  Impatiently resigned; 
But ignorant that Paradise 
  Did not admit her kind. 

Persons with Haloes, Harps, and Wings 
  Assembled and reproved; 
Or talked to her of Heavenly things, 
  But Dinah never moved. 

There was one step along the Stair 
  That led to Heaven's Gate; 
And, till she heard it, her affair 
  Was—she explained—to wait. 

And she explained with flattened ear, 
  Bared lip and milky tooth— 
Storming against Ithuriel's Spear 
  That only proved her truth! 

Sudden—far down the Bridge of Ghosts 
  That anxious spirits clomb— 
She caught that step in all the hosts, 
  And knew that he had come. 

She left them wondering what to do, 
  But not a doubt had she.
Swifter than her own squeal she flew 
  Across the Glassy Sea; 

Flushing the Cherubs everywhere, 
  And skidding as she ran, 
She refuged under Peter's Chair 
  And waited for her man. 

          *            *            * 

There spoke a Spirit out of the press, 
  'Said:—"Have you any here 
That saved a fool from drunkenness, 
  And a coward from his fear? 

"That turned a soul from dark to day 
  When other help was vain; 
That snatched it from Wanhope and made 
  A cur a man again?" 

"Enter and look," said Peter then, 
  And set The Gate ajar. 
"If know aught of women and men 
  I trow she is not far." 

"Neither by virtue, speech nor art 
  Nor hope of grace to win; 
But godless innocence of heart 
  That never heard of sin: 

"Neither by beauty nor belief 
  Nor white example shown. 
Something a wanton—more a thief— 
  But—most of all—mine own."

"Enter and look," said Peter then, 
  "And send you well to speed; 
But, for all that I know of women and men 
  Your riddle is hard to read." 

Then flew Dinah from under the Chair, 
  Into his arms she flew— 
And licked his face from chin to hair 
  And Peter passed them through!

Choose another poem