221 – 230: Charity

To give the poor is charity 221
The rest is loan and vanity.
To beg is bad e’en from the good 222
To give is good, were heaven forbid.
No pleading, “I am nothing worth,” 223
But giving marks a noble birth.
The cry for alms is painful sight 224
Until the giver sees him bright.
Higher’s power which hunger cures 225
Than that of penance which endures.
Drive from the poor their gnawing pains 226
If room you seek to store your gains.
Who shares his food with those who need 227
Hunger shall not harm his creed.
The joy of give and take they lose 228
Hard-hearted rich whose hoarding fails.
Worse than begging is that boarding 229
Alone what one’s greed is hoarding.
Nothing is more painful than death 230
Yet more is pain of giftless dearth.

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