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Winifred M. Letts

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Winifred M. Letts was a novelist, playwright, and poet. Born in England in 1882, she moved to Ireland as a young woman. Her collections include More Songs from Leinster (John Murray, 1926), The Spires of Oxford and Other Poems (E. P. Dutton and Company, 1918), Hallow-e’en and Poems of the War (John Murray, 1916), and Songs from Leinster (John Murray, 1913). Letts, who served as a masseuse in army camps during World War I, famously wrote about her experiences during the war, as well as the joys of rural life in Ireland. She died in 1972.

by this poet

poem
In misty cerements they wrapped the word
My heart had feared so long: dead... dead... I heard
But marvelled they could think the thing was true
Because death cannot be for such as you.
So while they spoke kind words to suit my need
Of foolish idle things my heart took heed,
Your racquet and worn-out tennis shoe,
poem

Courage came to you with your boyhood's grace
     Of ardent life and limb.
Each day new dangers steeled you to the test,
     To ride, to climb, to swim.
Your hot blood taught you carelessness of death
          With every breath.

So when you went to play another game
    

poem

I saw the spires of Oxford
    As I was passing by,
The gray spires of Oxford
    Against the pearl-gray sky.
My heart was with the Oxford men
    Who went abroad to die.

The years go fast in Oxford,
    The golden years and gay,
The hoary Colleges look down
    On