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Patient with the Living

by Margaret E. Sangster

Sweet friend, when thou and I are gone
Beyond earth's weary labor,
When small shall be our need of grace
From comrade or from neighbor,
Past all the strife, the toil, the care,
And done with all the sighing,
What tender ruth shall we have gained,
Alas, by simply dying!

Then lips too chary for their praise
Will tell our merits over,
And eyes too swift our fault to see
Shall no defect discover.
Then hands that would not lift a stone
Where tones were thick to cumber
Our steep hill path, will scatter flower
Above our pillowed slumber.

Sweet friend, perchance both thou and I,
Ere love is past forgiving,
Should take the earnest lesson home—
Be patient with the living.
To-day's repressed rebuke may save
Our blinding tears to-morrow;
Then patience, e'en when keenest edge
May whet a nameless sorrow.

'Tis easy to be gentle when
Death's silence shames our clamor,
And easy to discern the best
Through memory's mystic glamour;
But wise it were for thee and me,
Ere love is past forgiving,
To take the tender lesson home—
Be patient with the living.

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