The Great War

from Late Songs, an electronic edition

The Mother

Her boys are not shut out. They come

Homing like pigeons to her door,

Sure of her tender welcome home,

As many a time before.

Their bed is made so smooth and sweet,

The fire is lit, the table spread;

She has poured water for their feet,

That they be comforted.

As with a fluttering of wings

They are come home, come home to stay;

With all the bitter dreadful things

Forgot, clean washed away.

They are so glad to stay, so glad

They nestle to her gown's soft flow,

As in the loving times they had,

Long ago, long ago.

Oh, not like lonely ghosts in mist

Her boys come from the night and rain,

But to be clasped, but to be kissed,

And not go out again.