“Reaching Elysium”


Photo by Elyse Blankemeyer, Class of 2016

James McKay, Class of 2018

Far off the path you’ll find a gate.

It reaches high, its length is great.

It’s covered by a golden plate.

Its beauty knows no bound.

And past the gate there lies a trail.

Upon it falls a misty veil.

It twists and turns, its air is stale.

Its terror knows no bound.

And past the trail is fertile land.

Where trees grow tall, grow strong, and grand.

The choir sings.  You hear the band.

Its pleasures know no bound.

Yet tests are in this journey, vast.

Your heart is good.  Your will stead-fast.

If they are failed, you’ll be outcast.

Be strong, and hold your ground.

Three men you’ll meet along your way:

The master, Watcher, Keeper say:

“Turn back, and from this place away.”

Be strong, and hold your ground.

Walk forward, do not hide!

The Keeper first appears.

“I am the Keeper of the Gate.

I guard this path.  I stand and wait.

My stance is firm, and my arm is straight.

I will not flinch or bow.”

Just whisper for his ears:

“Move back, O Keeper of the Gate,

Who guards this path, and stands and waits.

I’ve wandered long, and shan’t be late.

I’m passing through there now.”

He laughs and steps aside.

The Watcher then appears.

“I am the Watcher of the Trail.

My joints are sore, my bones are frail.

I’ve seen all creatures try and fail,

When sweat drips down their brow.”

Just whisper for his ears:

“Be gone, O Watcher of the Trail

Whose joints are sore, whose bones are frail.

I will not listen to you wail,

I’m passing through here now.”

He nods and steps aside

The Master last appears.

“I am the Master of this Land.

My rule is firm, my breaths command.

I made his place with my own hand.

Pray, why should I share now?”

Just whisper for his ears:

Forgive me Master of this Land,

Whose rule is firm, whose breath command.

Your  Laws I follow, understand.

I will not stray, please know.”

He smiles, and steps aside.