The Letter

LITTLE enough the letter said.
What could they say but, ’He is dead ’ ?
It was sealed and stamped and the name engrossed;
They gave it to the maid to post.
As she dropped the note in the teeming square,
She jested with the idlers there.
As it went to the car, the truckmen joked;
The agent sat on the bag and smoked.
The carrier sped from door to door,
Gurgling over the batsman’s score.
As he mounted the steps which the creepers roof,
He whistled a catch from an opéra bouffe.
It lay in the hall on a silver tray,
’Twixt a bill and a card for a déjeuner.
The girl came laughing down the stair;
The feet danced, danced the lips and hair.
And the mother smiled as she turned her head.
And gave her the note: ‘For you,’ she said.