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Poem by Dora Sigerson Shorter


Sanctuary


Neighbour! for pity a hound cries on your steps
   With pleading eyes, with sore and weary feet.
Neighbour! your pity a poor beast doth implore;
   Hunger and cold are busy in the street.
Then, neighbour! pause; tis no good work you do.
Off from my door!  I have no place for you.

Neighbour, your mercy!  A heart of love is here,
   Within this weary bodylove is rare,
And seldom comes to cry before our door.
   Then open wide, and take your little share.
Love pleads to be your servant, leal and true.
Off from my step!  I have no place for you.

From step to step abused, from door to door,
   Whipped by the wind, and beaten by the rain,
With hunger at his throat, he passes on;
   Yet one who follows shares the creatures pain.
One follows.  Neighbour, stop! unless you rue.
Off from my step!  I have no place for you.

The gentle Christ had heard His crying hound,
   And left His throne to track the weary feet.
He follows, though unseen, with bleeding heart,
   Refused from door to door, from street to street.
Yes, one who follows had refusal too.
Off from my door!  I have no place for you.



Dora Sigerson Shorter


Dora Sigerson Shorter's other poems:
  1. The Kine of My Father
  2. An Imperfect Revolution
  3. Sixteen Dead Men
  4. The Fairy Changeling
  5. You Will Not Come Again


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Elinor Wylie Sanctuary ("This is the bricklayer; hear the thud")

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