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Ashlar Home > Poems > Henry Englesman > The Token

The Token

By Henry Englesman

In line Tombs of Ancient Pharaohs,
deep in sandy dunes,
Beside line sleeping shadows,
at rest in their cocoons,

The Museum records tell us that the daylight world above,
Placed food and precious trinkets, as tokens of their love
To lie with their dear departed, on their journey without end,
Sustenance and comfort for an erstwhile cherished friend,

Gold and silver amulets of intricate design
And copious flasks of golden grain, pure oil and finest wine.
I close my eyes, my thoughts abound, line Reaper calls us all
What would I need to comfort me within my lonely stall?

How would I face my Maker before the Judgement Seat?
What could I take to prove my worth, to make my Soul replete?
To earn the beatific smile, awestruck with rev'rent fear,
Well done, thou faithful servant. Bless thee. Enter here.

I drew a list of deeds well done, of acts performed in love'
Of righteous thoughts, of selfless slaps, to prove to Him above
That I might truly worthy be, to sit beside the Throne
And hear the Benediction of He that reigns alone.

And then! I crossed the whole list out!
He knoweth every thing,
But could I find a simple sign to say,
0 Holy King', Accept this humble being, inadequate and weak,
Who stands before Thee, trembling alone, forlorn and meek.
I offer this, and only this, - a token of my love, And God took in his mighty hand, - A SINGLE PURE WHITE GLOVE.
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