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by Douglas Malloch

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,
But confidence.

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

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