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Dora Sigerson Shorter

(1866-1918 / Ireland)

The Little Sister


The wind knocks at the window,
And my heart is full of fear,
For I know when it is calling
That some evil thing is near.
It whispers in the chimney,
And I strike the log to flame,
Lest it come down and take me
To the land that hath no name.
For once I had a sister,
Who now am left alone,
And here we sat together,
When the wind did sigh and moan.
There came a gentle knocking
Quick and sudden at the door,
And my sister hushed my terror,
Saying, ''Tis the wind, a-stór!'
She took my arms from round her,
She kissed me, cheek and chin,
But I cried, 'Oh, little sister,
Do not let the robber in!'
She rose up from me laughing,
But her face was strange and white,
And she opened wide the window,
Looking long into the night.

And I said, 'Oh, little sister,
There is on your cheek a tear!'
''Tis but the rain,' she whispered;
But my heart was full of fear.
And I said, 'Oh, little sister,
There's a hand upon the door.'
Soft she chid me from my crying,
Saying, ''Tis the wind, a-stór.'
And turning from me smiling,
She took down the bar and chain,
But her cheek was like the lily
As she went into the rain.
And I said, 'Oh, little sister,
Will you then return no more?'
But I only heard the pushing
Of the wind upon the door.
Long I cried, 'Oh, little sister,
Will you soon come back again?'
But I only heard the beating
Of the storm upon the pane.
Now my mother sits in sorrow,
Weeping all the livelong day;
And I think she dreads the robber
Who did take her child away.
So I put up bar and shutter
When the wind goes howling by,
For I know when it comes knocking
That some evil thing is nigh.

Submitted: Wednesday, September 29, 2010

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