I hold him dearest who aspires
To kindle in my heart the fires
Of best desires.
I hold the man of all most dear
Who, when I stumble, draweth near
With word of cheer.
I hold that man of best intents
Who giveth me not paltry pence,
For there are men who quick caress
Win give to laurel-crowned success—
To nothing less.
But, oh, how dearer far are they
Who help me on the upward way
When skies are gray.
If so it be that I attain
The mountain peak, and leave the plain
And paths of pain,
My prayers shall first be upward sent
For those dear friends of mine who lent