• “Why do you wait at your door, woman,
  • Alone in the night?”
  • “I am waiting for one who will come, stranger,
  • To show him a light.
  • He will see me afar on the road
  • And be glad at the sight.”
  • “Have you no fear in your heart, woman,
  • To stand there alone?
  • There is comfort for you and kindly content
  • Beside the hearthstone.”
  • But she answered, “No rest can I have
  • Till I welcome my own.”
  • “Is it far he must travel tonight,
  • This man of your heart?”
  • “Strange lands that I know not and pitiless seas
  • Have kept us apart,
  • And he travels this night to his home
  • Without guide, without chart.”
  • “And has he companions to cheer him?”
  • “Aye, many,” she said.
  • “The candles are lighted, the hearthstones are swept,
  • The fires glow red.
  • We shall welcome them out of the night —
  • Our home-coming dead.”

Winifred M. Letts was born in Great Britain in 1882 to an English father and Irish mother. After her father’s death, she and her mother returned to Ireland where she was educated at Alexandra College in Dublin. She trained as a masseuse and during World War I worked at army camps in Manchester. She eventually became a nurse. Letts began her writing career as a playwright, writing one-act plays for the Abbey Theatre and then started writing novels and children’s books. Her first poetry collection was published in 1913. In 1916, she published Hallowe’en and Other Poems of the War. In 1926 she married William Henry Foster Verschoyle, who died in 1943. Letts continued to publish novels, poetry, and children’s books throughout her life. She died in Dublin in 1972.


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