Blood rushed to my head, from shame, and I stepped toward her as quickly as I could.
"Give it to me, mother."
But it was too late. The light in her face had died. The smile on her lips had vanished.
As I drank the coffee, I said to myself:
"Tonight I shall speak tenderly to her and make up for what I have done."
In the evening I could not speak to her kindly, nor the next day.
* * *
Three or four months later a strange woman brought a cup of coffee to my room. Suddenly I felt a sting in my heart. I wanted to cry out from pain. I shivered, my whole being trembling in stark agony.—For a man's heart is a just judge; a man's heart does not concern itself with paragraphs in statute books or trifles.
Deep in the Hills of Life there is a fount
Whence living water flow, with bubbles bright
That rise up from the stream and slowly mount,
Drifting zigzag and passing out of sight.
Pilgrims oft come, thirsting, to this fair stream;
But ere they drink, the bubbles meet their view,
Rising, floating, with dancing, magic gleam,
Until each pilgrim, glad, starts to pursue.
Thro' brambles, thickets, woodland, far-off
To precipice, pit-fall, or slimy bog
Each chases his own bubble, spite of pain,
To see it burst at last, or pass in fog.
Meanwhile the waters flow, sparkling and cool,
Life to contented fish in yonder pool.