Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

It offers many dividends:
The opportunity to meet
And chat with old and new-found friends;
The amiable atmosphere;
The comfortable cushioned seat;
The promise of two hours clear
Of irritating chores, restraints,
Dilemmas, quarrels, and complaints;
The vespertine impressive hall
That grants equality to all
And cover for a nap to some;
The stirring burst of warm applause
When the conductor comes in view
And talkers instantly grow dumb;
The pleasantly suspenseful pause
As the ensemble waits its cue.

Of course, it offers music, too.