Commentary Magazine


In the House

“I have forgotten,” the sister said.
The brother said, “I do not recall.”
“I’II never forgive,” the father said.
The bride said, “I’ve forgiven all.”
Silent the mother peered through the
    blinds:
Long is the road and far it winds.

“The wind is rising,” the sister said.
The brother said, “O hear the rain.”
“Locked is the door,” the young bride said.
“None,” said the father, “shall unlock it
    again.”
Silent the mother walked to and fro:
God in heaven, how cold the winds blow.
“There are five of us,” the sister said.
The brother said, “Let us sit and dine.”
“Come,” said the bride, “the table is laid.”
The father said, “I shall pour the wine.”
Silent the mother bowed her head,
In five parts broke the Sabbath bread.

The sister nibbled her crumbs like a mouse,
The brother sopped his bread, the bride
Toasted the mistress of the house,
The father ate his bread and sighed.
Then up rose the mother and drew back
    the chain,
And opened the door to the wind and the
    rain.

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