Things left undone

Things Left UndoneIt isn’t the thing you do, dear, It’s the thing you leave undone,
That gives you the bitter heartache At the setting of the sun;
The tender word unspoken, The letter you did not write,
The flower you might have sent, dear,
Are your haunting ghosts at night.
The stone you might have lifted Out of your brother’s way,
The bit of heartfelt 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 .
. . . For life is all too short, dear. And sorrow is all too great,
To allow our slow compassion That tarries until too late.
And it’s not the thing you do, dear,
It’s the thing you leave undone,
That gives you the bitter heartache, At the setting of the sun.

–Adelaide Proctor

What things have you left undone?