"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 to-night, 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."
I dreamt—before death made such dreaming vain—
That sometime, on a day of wind and rain,
I would come home to you at fall of night
And see your window flushed with firelight.
There in the chill dark lonesomeness I’d wait
A moment, standing at the garden gate
Scarce trusting that my happiness was true,—
The kind warm lights of home and love and you.
Then, lest they’d vanish to be mine no more,
I’d speed my steps along the garden path,
Cross my own threshold, close the wind-blown door
And find you in the firelight of the hearth.
O happiness! to kneel beside you there
And feel your fingers resting on my hair.