The Great War

from The Holy War, an electronic edition

All Souls' Night

The door of Heaven is on the latch

To-night, and many a man is fain

To steal back and keep the watch

With his Love again.

Now the children are in bed,

She hath spread the board, the fire's warm

Lest any come for heart's bread

In from the storm.

The twigs tap against the pane,

Dead leaves drift upon the door.

Oh, who comes from the night and rain

As oft before?

His coat is damp with night-dew,

His cheek is wet against her cheek.

They kiss long as they used to do

Before they speak.

They sit down to the lit board;

With meat and wine he shall be fed.

And there is many a sweet word

That must be said.

Many a word of comforting

Is said before the cock crow

When they shall kiss and they shall cling,

But he must go.

When all the world is fast asleep

There's light in her window-pane

Where she and her Love the watch keep

This night again.