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Domestic Scene

 The meal was o'er, the lamp was lit,
The family sat in its glow;
The Mother never ceased to knit,
The Daughter never slacked to sew;
The Father read his evening news,
The Son was playing solitaire:
If peace a happy home could choose
I'm sure you'd swear that it was there.
BUT The Mother: "Ah me! this hard lump in my breast .
Old Doctor Brown I went to see; Because it don't give me no rest, He fears it may malignant be.
To operate it might be well, And keep the evil of awhile; But oh the folks I dare not tell, And so I sit and knit and smile.
" The Father: "The mortgage on the house is due, My bank account is overdrawn; I'm at my wits end what to do - I've plunged, but now my hope is gone.
For coverage my brokers call, But I'm so deeply in the red .
If ever I should lose my all, I'll put a bullet in my head.
" The Daughter: "To smile I do the best I can, But it's so hard to act up gay.
My lover is a married man, And now his child is on the way.
My plight I cannot long conceal, And though I bear their bitter blame, Unto my dears I must reveal My sin, my sorrow and my shame.
" The Son: "Being a teller in a Bank I'd no right in a blackjack game.
But for my ruin I must thank My folly for a floozie dame.
To face the Manager I quail; If he should check my cash I'm sunk .
Before they throw me into gaol I guess I'd better do a bunk.
" So sat they in the Winter eve In sweet serenity becalmed, So peaceful you could scarce believe They shared the torments of the damned .
Yet there the Mother smiles and knits; The Daughter sews white underwear; The Father reads and smokes and spits, While Sonny Boy plays solitaire.

by Robert William Service
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