By Albert W. Matthews
The gate of Heaven is strong and wide,
And is guarded well on the other side,
St Peter stands there with his scroll and pen,
Scanning his list – of the lives of men.
A soul approached and cried – I’m late,
And won’t St Peter please open the gate?
I’m tired and weary, but free from sin,
I have traveled far and want to go in.
The fate swung open at the sound of despair,
And in the opening St Peter stood there,
With the finest smile and a look serene,
He said to the stranger, you cannot go in.
Here’s money, St Peter, and he let his hand slide,
To the height of his girdle were the money was tied,
But the gate was closing, and as for him,
He saw that his chances were very slim.
One moment, St Peter, he cried in pain,
One moment, one moment, and let me explain,
I came to the gate with something of stealth,
But will go to the earth and distribute my wealth.
St Peter advanced a step or so,
To view the stranger whom he did not know,
You are weighted down with bags of gold,
Perhaps for that you have bartered your soul.
Go back to the earth with your bags of gold,
Seek out suffering among the young and old,
And when you return, if you are free of sin,
I will open the gate and let you in.
Returning he searched from shore to shore,
And suffering and want he found galore,
He gave all his wealth of solid gold
To the sick and helpless; young and old.
Then he said to himself I’ll try once more,
To reach the sands of that beautiful shore.
The path he traveled was long and straight,
But his cry was heard – not late, not late.
The gate swung open and with hands outstretched,
St Peter advanced to the soul distressed.
Now, dear soul, you are free from sin,
The gate is open for you to walk in.
Sent in by A.M.