On the Doorstep

She sits in her night-dress without the door,
And her father comes up: ‘He at it again?’
He mournfully cries. ‘Poor girlie!’ and then
Comes her husband to fetch her in, shamed and sore.
The elder strikes him. He falls head-bare
On the edge of the step, and lies senseless there.
She, seeing him stretched like a corpse at length,
Cries out to her father, who stands aghast,
‘I hate you with all my soul and strength!
You've killed him. And if this word's my last
I hate you. . . . O my husband dear—
Live—do as you will! None shall interfere!’
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