Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The thing you leave undone



Don't forget to write a letter today.

The Sin Of Omission

by Margaret Sangster

It isn't the thing you do, dear;
It's the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you a bit of heartache
At the setting of the sun.
The tender word forgotten,
The letter you did not write,
The flower you might have sent, dear,
Are your haunting ghosts to-night.

The stone you might have lifted
Out of brother's way,
The bit of heartsome counsel
You were hurried too much to say;
The loving touch of the hand, dear,
The gentle and winsome tone,
That you had no time nor thought for,
With troubles enough of your own.

The little acts of kindness,
So easily out of mind;
Those chances to be angels
Which every one may find
They come in night and silence
Each chill, reproachful wraith
When hope is faint and flagging
And a blight has dropped on faith.

For life is all too short, dear,
And sorrow is all too great;
To suffer our great compassion
That tarries until too late;
And it's not the thing you do, dear,
It's the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you the bit of heartache
At the setting of the sun.

Margaret Elizabeth Sangster was an American author, poet and editor who lived from 1838 to 1912.


2 comments:

phonelady said...

very nice poem .

tjk said...

This is a poem I remembered reading in the 1940s. It made a lasting impression on me. So glad to have found it again using internet search. It has a timeless message.

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