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A poem by Edgar A. Guest

On Going Home For Christmas

Title:     On Going Home For Christmas
Author: Edgar A. Guest [More Titles by Guest]

He little knew the sorrow that was in his vacant
He never guessed they'd miss him, or he'd
surely have been there;
He couldn't see his mother or the lump that
filled her throat,
Or the tears that started falling as she read
his hasty note;
And he couldn't see his father, sitting sorrowful
and dumb,
Or he never would have written that he thought
he couldn't come.

He little knew the gladness that his presence
would have made,
And the joy it would have given, or he never
would have stayed.
He didn't know how hungry had the little
mother grown
Once again to see her baby and to claim him
for her own.
He didn't guess the meaning of his visit
Christmas Day
Or he never would have written that he
couldn't get away.

He couldn't see the fading of the cheeks that
once were pink,
And the silver in the tresses; and he didn't
stop to think
How the years are passing swiftly, and next
Christmas it might be
There would be no home to visit and no mother
dear to see.
He didn't think about it--I'll not say he didn't
He was heedless and forgetful or he'd surely
have been there.

Are you going home for Christmas? Have you
written you'll be there?
Going home to kiss the mother and to show
her that you care?
Going home to greet the father in a way to
make him glad?
If you're not I hope there'll never come a time
you'll wish you had.
Just sit down and write a letter--it will make
their heart strings hum
With a tune of perfect gladness--if you'll tell
them that you'll come.

[The end]
Edgar A. Guest's Poem: On Going Home For Christmas