The Upward Trail

Do you ever think of heaven? Read the thoughts of the Poet, Douglas Malloch, in this poem, The Upward Trail, in which he is thinking of heaven. What will it be like? Angels singing? Gates of pearl? Streets paved with gold? Our imagination can create a place of beauty and tranquility when we think of heaven. But heaven will probably be beyond what we can imagine.

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The Upward Trail
Poet: Douglas Malloch

Out in the dark wood all alone,
My only candle light a star,
I git to thinkin' of the things
Above the curtain blue an' far.
They say thet heaven is up there,
Thet there the great white angels sing;
I wonder if that misty cloud
Is not, perhaps, an angel's wing?
They say the gates are made of pearl.
They say the streets are paved with gold
And thet there ain't no night at all.
No winter wind, no rain er cold.

Sometimes I think I'd like to go
A-lookin' through that land so fair;
I wonder if they ever let
A timber cruiser in up there?
I guess a mackinaw won't do
Alongside of them angel suits;
Suppose a man'd dare to walk
On golden streets in cowhide boots?
The songs the shanty fellahs sing
On Sunday nights, when pipes are low.
Won't do up there at all, an' them's
The only kind bf songs I know.

But I have heard some preacher tell.
Who'd seen it in a big black book,
That once there was a Cruiser who
From earth to heaven made a look.
This Cruiser, so the preacher said,
Was estimatin' for us all —
For timber cruisers jest as much
As some rich fellah in St. Paul.
"Believe in God, believe in men, be square,'
This preacher used to say,
"An' you will find the trail — for One
Has gone ahead an' blazed the way."

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Another famous poem about heaven by the famous poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar:

Heaven Is Found
Poet: Paul Laurence Dunbar

I am no priest of crooks nor creeds,
For human wants and human needs
Are more to me than prophets’ deeds;
And human tears and human cares
Affect me more than human prayers.

Go, cease your wail, lugubrious saint!
You fret high Heaven with your plaint.
Is this the “Christian’s joy” you paint?
Is this the Christian’s boasted bliss?
Avails your faith no more than this?

Take up your arms, come out with me,
Let Heav’n alone; humanity
Needs more and Heaven less from thee.
With pity for mankind look ‘round;
Help them to rise -and Heaven is found.

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