A Hymn of Empire and Other Poems

by Frederick George Scott


 

A SISTER OF CHARITY


SHE made a nunnery of her life,
    Plain duties hedged it round,
No echoes of the outer strife
    Could reach its hallowed ground.

Her rule was simple as her creed,
5
     She tried to do each day
Some act of kindness that might speed
    A sad soul on its way.

She had no wealth, and yet she made
     So many rich at heart;
10
Her lot was hidden, yet she played
     No inconspicuous part.

Some wondered men had passed her by,
     Some said she would not wed,
I think the secret truth must lie
15
     Long buried with the dead.

That cheery smile, that gentle touch,
     That heart so free from stain,
Could have no other source but such
    As lies in conquered pain.
20

All living creatures loved her well,
    And blessed the ground she trod;
The pencillings in her Bible tell
    Her communing with God.

And when the call came suddenly,
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    And sleep preceded death,
There was no struggle we could see,
    No hard and laboured breath.

Gently as dawn the end drew nigh;
    Her life had been so sweet,
30
I think she did not need to die
    To reach the Master’s feet.