Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
III. Faith: Hope: Love: Service
Sympathy
Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd (1795–1854)
 
From “Ion,” Act I. Sc. 2.

                            ’T IS a little thing
To give a cup of water; yet its draught
Of cool refreshment, drained by fevered lips,
May give a shock of pleasure to the frame
More exquisite than when nectarean juice        5
Renews the life of joy in happier hours.
It is a little thing to speak a phrase
Of common comfort which by daily use
Has almost lost its sense, yet on the ear
Of him who thought to die unmourned ’t will fall        10
Like choicest music, fill the glazing eye
With gentle tears, relax the knotted hand
To know the bonds of fellowship again;
And shed on the departing soul a sense,
More precious than the benison of friends        15
About the honored death-bed of the rich,
To him who else were lonely, that another
Of the great family is near and feels.
 
 
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