The Sin of Omission
It isn't the thing you do, dear,
Its the thing you leave undone
That gives you a bit of a heartache
At setting of the sun.
The tender work forgotten,
The letter you did not write,
The flowers you did not send, dear,
Are your haunting ghosts at night.
The stone you might have lifted
Out of a brother's way;
The bit of heartsome counsel
You were hurried too much to say;
The loving touch of the hand, dear,
The gentle, winning tone
Which you had no time nor thought for
With troubles enough of your own.
Those little acts of kindness
So easily out of mind,
Those chances to be angels
Which we poor mortals find
They come in night and silence,
Each sad, reproachful wraith,
When hope is faint and flagging,
And a chill has fallen on faith.
For life is all too short, dear,
And sorrow is all to great,
To suffer our slow compassion
That tarries until too late:
And 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.
Margaret E. Sangster
I'm off to find more of Ms. Sangster's writings. I've also, this late in my life, started to (re)acquaint myself with some of Mark Twain's writings. I'm going to spend next month sharing some of my favorites. Hopefully they'll touch you as they've touched me.