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The Best Letter

From the Omaha Daily Bee, December 9, 1913. By William F. Kirk.

You may write a thousand letters to the maiden you adore,
And declare in every letter that you love her more and more.
You may praise her grace and beauty in a thousand glowing lines,
And compare her eyes of azure with the brightest star that shines.
If you had the pen of Byron you would use it every day
In composing written worship to your sweetheart far away;
But the letter far more welcome to an older, gentler breast
Is the letter to your mother from the boy she loves the best.

Youthful blood is fierce and flaming, and when writing to your love
You will rave about your passion, swearing by the stars above;
Vowing by the moon’s white splendor that the girlie you adore
Is the one you’ll ever cherish as no maid was loved before.
You will pen full many a promise on those pages white and dumb
That you never can live up to in the married years to come.
But a much more precious letter, bringing more and deeper bliss,
Is the letter to your mother from the boy she cannot kiss.

She will read it very often when the lights are soft and low,
Sitting in the same old corner where she held you years ago,
And regardless of its diction or its spelling or its style,
And although its composition would provoke a critic’s smile,
In her old and trembling fingers it becomes a work of art,
Stained by tears of joy and sadness as she hugs it to her heart.
Yes, the letter of all letters, look wherever you may roam,
Is the letter to your mother from her boy away from home.

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