F (Poems/Prose @ www.HappyOtter.Com)
A CURE FOR FAULT-FINDING
"Just stand aside, and watch yourself go by;
Think of yourself, as 'he' instead of 'I.'
Pick flaws, find fault, forget the man is you,
And strive to make your estimate ring true.
The faults of others then will dwarf and shrink.
Love's chin grows stronger by one mighty link,
When you with 'he' as substitute for 'I,'
Have stood aside, and watched yourself go by."
'Tis an old maxim in the schools,
That flattery's the food of fools;
Yet now and then your men of wit
Will condescend to take a bit.
TO A FRIEND
You entered my life in a casual way,
And saw at a glance what I needed;
There were others who passed me or met me each day,
But never a one of them heeded.
Perhaps you were thinking of other folks more,
Or chance simply seemed to decree it;
I know there were many such chances before,
But the others - well, they didn't see it.
You said just the thing that I wished you would say,
And you made me believe that you meant it;
I held up my head in the old gallant way,
And resolved you should never repent it.
There are times when encouragement means such a lot,
And a word is enough to convey it;
There were others who could have, as easy as not-
But, just the same, they didn't say it.
There may have been someone who could have done more
To help me along, though I doubt it;
What I needed was cheering, and always before
They had let me plod onward without it.
You helped to refashion the dream of my heart,
And made me turn eagerly to it;
There were others who might have (I question that part)-
But, after all, they didn't do it!
What is a Friend? I'll tell you.
It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.
Your could can go naked with him.
He seems to ask you to put on nothing, only to be what you really are.
When you are with him, you do not have to be on your guard.
You can say what you think, so long as it is genuinely you.
He understands those contradictions in your nature that cause others to misjudge you.
With him you breathe freely-you can avow your little vanities and envies and absurdities
and in opening them up to him they are dissolved on the white ocean of his loyalty.
He understands. - You can weep with him, laugh with him, pray with him-through and
underneath it all he sees, knows and loves you.
A Friend, I repeat, is one with whom YOU DARE TO BE YOURSELF.
A FRIEND'S GREETING
I'd like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me;
I'd like to be the help that you've been always glad to be;
I'd like to mean as much to you each minute of the day
As you have meant, old friend of mine, to me along the way.
I'd like to do the big things and the splendid things for you,
To brush the gray from out your skies and leave them only blue;
I'd like to give you back the joy that you have given me,
Yet that were wishing you a need I hope will never be;
I'd like to make you feel as rich as I, who travel on
Undaunted in the darkest hours with you to lean upon.
I'm wishing at this Christmas time that I could be repay
A portion of the gladness that you've strewn along my way;
And could I have one wish this year, this only would it be:
I'd like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me.