Published on Academy of American Poets (

Hallow-E'en, 1914

"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."


This poem is in the public domain.


Winifred M. Letts

Winifred M. Letts was a novelist, playwright, and poet who famously wrote about her experiences during World War I. Her collections include More Songs from Leinster (John Murray, 1926), and The Spires of Oxford and Other Poems (E. P. Dutton and Company, 1918). She died in 1972.

Date Published: 1916-01-01

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