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!