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A poem by Edgar A. Guest

Old Friends

Title:     Old Friends
Author: Edgar A. Guest [More Titles by Guest]

I do not say new friends are not considerate and
Or that their smiles ain't genuine, but still I'm
tellin' you
That when a feller's heart is crushed and achin'
with the pain,
And teardrops come a-splashin' down his cheeks
like summer rain,
Becoz his grief an' loneliness are more than
he can bear,
Somehow it's only old friends, then, that really
seem to care.
The friends who've stuck through thick an'
thin, who've known you, good an' bad,
Your faults an' virtues, an' have seen the
struggles you have had,
When they come to you gentle-like an' take
your hand an' say:
"Cheer up! we're with you still," it counts, for
that's the old friends' way.

The new friends may be fond of you for what
you are to-day;
They've only known you rich, perhaps, an' only
seen you gay;
You can't tell what's attracted them; your
station may appeal;
Perhaps they smile on you because you're doin'
something real;
But old friends who have seen you fail, an' also
seen you win,
Who've loved you either up or down, stuck
to you, thick or thin,
Who knew you as a budding youth, an' watched
you start to climb,
Through weal an' woe, still friends of yours
an' constant all the time,
When trouble comes an' things go wrong, I
don't care what you say,
They are the friends you'll turn to, for you
want the old friends' way.

The new friends may be richer, an' more stylish,
too, but when
Your heart is achin' an' you think your sun
won't shine again,
It's not the riches of new friends you want, it's
not their style,
It's not the airs of grandeur then, it's just the
old friend's smile,
The old hand that has helped before, stretched
out once more to you,
The old words ringin' in your ears, so sweet an',
Oh, so true!
The tenderness of folks who know just what
your sorrow means,
These are the things on which, somehow, your
spirit always leans.
When grief is poundin' at your breast--the
new friends disappear
An' to the old ones tried an' true, you turn for
aid an' cheer.

[The end]
Edgar A. Guest's poem: Old Friends