Far down the lane
A window pane
Gleams 'mid the trees through night and rain.
The weeds are dense
Through which a fence
Of pickets rambles, none sees whence,
Before a porch, all indistinct of line,
O'er-grown and matted with wistaria-vine.
No thing is heard,
No beast or bird,
Only the rain by which are stirred
The draining leaves,
And trickling eaves
Of crib and barn one scarce perceives;
And garden-beds where old-time flow'rs hang wet
The phlox, the candytuft, and mignonette.
The hour is late
At any rate
She has not heard him at the gate:
Upon the roof
The rain was proof
Against his horse's galloping hoof:
And when the old gate with its weight and chain
Creaked, she imagined 't was the wind and rain.
Along he steals
With cautious heels,
And by the lamplit window kneels:
And there she sits,
And rocks and knits
Within the shadowy light that flits
On face and hair, so sweetly sad and gray,
Dreaming of him she thinks is far away.
Upon his cheeks
Is it the streaks
Of rain, as now the old porch creaks
Beneath his stride?
Then, warm and wide,
The door flings and she's at his side
"Mother!" and he, back from the war, her boy,
Kisses her face all streaming wet with joy.