[Written for the Sentinel]


"Pray , what is friendship?" As the question came
The hearers thus made answer: "'Tis a ghost
Of buried confidence; a pretty name;
A staff that splinters when we trust it most,
And breaking, wounds. The scars throb on and burn."
So spoke the first. "But must man ever lean
And never give support?" I sadly turn,
Some crumb of comfort from the next to glean.
His tongue was ready. "'Tis the cordon strong
Of kindred souls with which we fence us round."

"Can love, a prisoner, sing its sweetest song;
Can it by our prescription be embound?
Must all mankind be shunned lest one betray?
Are we to choose the hands that clasp our own?
Is there no larger part, no better way,—
Are we to walk secluded or alone?"
Then spoke the last, so simply, and at the sound
I heard my query answered and was free.
"Friendship! It is the open road, which found,
Leads ever on to higher ministry."

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December 12, 1914

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