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Loyalty Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Friends by Bernhardt Paul Holst
  2. The Wife by John Charles McNeill

  1. Friends

    by Bernhart Paul Holst

    Should some one speak unkindly of your friend,
    With earnest mien, you must his worth defend;
    Though all the world should at your true friend chide,
    Hold to his hand and stand close by his side—
    For this we know: a true and trusty heart
    Of happy life is an essential part.

    Heaven will in its gentle kindness give
    True friends to those who truly act and live,
    But those that fail trustworthy friends to prize
    At length are severed from these holy ties—
    And finally, o'erwhelmed by doubt and fear,
    Are borne by strangers on their rustic bier.

    Should storms betide and all your fortune rend,
    You still are rich if you possess a friend,
    But if you win vast fortune and renown,
    Or even wear a sceptered, kingly crown,
    And have no friends, no trusty friends in need,
    You still are poor, ah! very poor, indeed!

  2. The Wife

    by John Charles McNeill

    They locked him in a prison cell,
    Murky and mean.
    She kissed him there a wife's farewell
    The bars between.
    And when she turned to go, the crowd,
    Thinking to see her shamed and bowed,
    Saw her pass out as calm and proud
    As any queen.

    She passed a kinsman on the street,
    To whose sad eyes
    She made reply with smile as sweet
    As April skies.
    To one who loved her once and knew
    The sorrow of her life, she threw
    A gay word, ere his tale was due
    Of sympathies.

    She met a playmate, whose red rose
    Had never a thorn,
    Whom fortune guided when she chose
    Her marriage morn,
    And, smiling, looked her in the eye;
    But, seeing the tears of sympathy,
    Her smile died, and she passed on by
    In quiet scorn.

    They could not know how, when by night
    The city slept,
    A sleepless woman, still and white,
    The watches kept;
    How her wife-loyal heart had borne
    The keen pain of a flowerless thorn,
    How hot the tears that smiles and scorn
    Had held unwept.

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