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The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
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The Sin of Omission

Volume 4, 1893/94, pg. 630


It isn't the thing you do, dear,
It's the thing you leave undone
Which gives you a bit of heart-ache
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 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 and winsome tone
That you had no time or thought for,
With troubles enough of your own.

These little acts of kindness,
So easily out of mind;
These chances to be angels,
Which even mortals 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 one slow compassion
That tarries until too late.
And it's not the thing you do, dear,
It's the think you leave undone
Which gives you the bitter heart-ache
At the setting of the sun.

(From a Mother's Note Book.)