HARD to wait for the postman's tramp
Up the snowy walk, for the hand that gropes
Deep in his pack, while the children tease
For the rainbow-ribboned packages,
And women wax faint with their fearful hopes
For those tattered, grimy envelopes
With the foreign stamp,
— Word, dear word from overseas,
From the fleet, the trench, the camp.
Oh, not jewels nor curious toys
Of art and fashion, no gift most rare
Can gladden those eyes that weep in the hush
Of lonely nights, can bring the flush
To faces white with their silent prayer,
Like the letters, precious beyond compare,
From our soldier-boys,
Letters to laugh over, cry over, crush
To the lips, our Christmas joys.

More verses by Katharine Lee Bates