Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LITTLE SISTER, by RICHARD EUGENE BURTON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

LITTLE SISTER, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: I know a girl of presence fresh and fair
Last Line: Making her saintly, while they make her dear.
Subject(s): Hearts; Hope; Pain; Sin; Sisters; Soul; Optimism; Suffering; Misery

I KNOW a girl of presence fresh and fair.
She lies abed year-long, and so has lain
For half a lifetime; flower-sweet the air;
The room is darkened to relieve her pain.

There is no hope held out of healing her,
You could not blame her if she turned her face
Sullen unto the wall, and did demur
From further breathing in her prison-place.

Not so: her sick-bed is a throne, wherefrom
She doth most royally her favors grant;
Thither the needy and the wretched come,
She is At Home to every visitant.

They call her Little Sister: for her heart
Goes out to each that takes her by the hand,
In sisterly devotion; 'tis her part
To feel, to succor, and to understand.

Unto her dim-lit chamber how they flock,
The seamy folk, the weakling and the base!
There is no sin so low that she will mock,
No shame that dare not look her in the face.

One never thinks of woe beside her bed,
So blithe she bends beneath the rigorous rod;
She does not seem like one uncomforted,
Her prayers like songs go bubbling up to God.

Hers is the inner secret of the soul;
Radiant renouncement, love and fellow cheer, --
These things do crown her like an aureole,
Making her saintly, while they make her dear.

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