The Dead Feast Of The Kol-Folk

A poem by John Greenleaf Whittier

We have opened the door,
Once, twice, thrice!
We have swept the floor,
We have boiled the rice.
Come hither, come hither!
Come from the far lands,
Come from the star lands,
Come as before!
We lived long together,
We loved one another;
Come back to our life.
Come father, come mother,
Come sister and brother,
Child, husband, and wife,
For you we are sighing.
Come take your old places,
Come look in our faces,
The dead on the dying,
Come home!

We have opened the door,
Once, twice, thrice!
We have kindled the coals,
And we boil the rice
For the feast of souls.
Come hither, come hither!
Think not we fear you,
Whose hearts are so near you.
Come tenderly thought on,
Come all unforgotten,
Come from the shadow-lands,
From the dim meadow-lands
Where the pale grasses bend
Low to our sighing.
Come father, come mother,
Come sister and brother,
Come husband and friend,
The dead to the dying,
Come home!

We have opened the door
You entered so oft;
For the feast of souls
We have kindled the coals,
And we boil the rice soft.
Come you who are dearest
To us who are nearest,
Come hither, come hither,
From out the wild weather;
The storm clouds are flying,
The peepul is sighing;
Come in from the rain.
Come father, come mother,
Come sister and brother,
Come husband and lover,
Beneath our roof-cover.
Look on us again,
The dead on the dying,
Come home!

We have opened the door!
For the feast of souls
We have kindled the coals
We may kindle no more!
Snake, fever, and famine,
The curse of the Brahmin,
The sun and the dew,
They burn us, they bite us,
They waste us and smite us;
Our days are but few
In strange lands far yonder
To wonder and wander
We hasten to you.
List then to our sighing,
While yet we are here
Nor seeing nor hearing,
We wait without fearing,
To feel you draw near.
O dead, to the dying
Come home

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