TOTALLY OPTIONAL PROMPT
suggested this topic.
I found such a wonderful illustration!
He stood there in his ragged clothes
Wearing a tangled beard,
Swarthy, unkempt and derelict,
A wild man to be feared.
'Why have you let this wretch inside?'
Mother cried out in dismay.
'He has no right to come in here!
Vagabond! Go away!'
The children watched with staring eyes
As the stranger stood his ground.
With an odd expression he gazed around,
But stood without a sound.
'Begone!' cried Mother, 'You have no right
To force your way in here!
You've frightened the children and scared the maid!
Now! Do I make myself clear?'
The more he stood, the more he gazed,
The more the Mother faltered.
'Who are you?' she said in a softer voice,
The timbre of it altered.
For, suddenly she recalled a boy,
A brother just sixteen,
Who had left her side many moons ago,
And had nevermore been seen.
They had heard he had died on the battlefield,
In some far-distant place.
They had also heard that he broke the law,
And had ended in disgrace.
They had mourned a while and wept a while
But that was so long ago.
How could this poor wretch standing here
Be someone she used to know?
But then she saw the expression
In his deep and sunken eyes,
And she knew that, indeed, it was Ivan,
And that all they had heard was lies.
'Set another seat at the table'
She said weeping joyful tears,
For brother Ivan is home again,
After many, many years.'
More Victorian drama here: