Scottish Poetry Selection
- My Portrait Gallery

Here is Walter Wingate in thoughful mood, recalling the faces of departed friends.

My Portrait Gallery

I have a portrait chamber,
    Where never a guest is shown;
But sometimes, of a quiet night,
With memory for my taper light,
    I visit it alone.

And as I pause before them,
    And as a pass them by,
The faces shrined upon the walls
Are lighted where the flicker falls.
    And into darkness die.

And some absorb me longer,
    On some I linger less;
They are the faces of my dead;
But over every face is shed
    The strangest happiness.

They never once rebuke me
    For visits over rare;
The recognitions in their eyes
From frankest kindliness arise,
    Without a cloud of care.

And no regret nor yearning
    In any face I see;
Their smile is like a soft caress
To soothe away the wistfulness
    The vision wakes in me.

Bereavement once was sorrow;
    To after years is given,
Recalling faces loved and fled,
To see them as the happy dead,
    Illumed with light from Heaven.

Return to the Index of Walter Wingate Poems or the General Index of Scottish Poetry

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line