Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
Poems of Friendship
The Friend
Nicholas Grimald (1519–1562)
From “On Friendship”

OF all the heavenly gifts that mortal men commend,
What trusty treasure in the world can countervail a friend?
Our health is soon decayed; goods, casual, light and vain;
Broke have we seen the force of power, and honor suffer stain.
In body’s lust man doth resemble but base brute;        5
True virtue gets and keeps a friend, good guide of our pursuit,
Whose hearty zeal with ours accords in every case;
No term of time, no space of place, no storm can it deface.
When fickle fortune fails, this knot endureth still;
Thy kin out of their kind may swerve, when friends owe thee good-will.        10
What sweeter solace shall befall, than [such a] one to find
Upon whose breast thou may’st repose the secrets of thy mind?
He waileth at thy woe, his tears with thine be shed;
With thee doth he all joys enjoy, so leef a life is led.
Behold thy friend, and of thyself the pattern see,        15
One soul, a wonder shall it seem in bodies twain to be;
In absence present, rich in want, in sickness sound,
Yea, after death alive, mayst thou by thy sure friend be found.
Each house, each town, each realm, by thy steadfast love doth stand;
While foul debate breeds bitter bale in each divided land.        20
O Friendship, flower of flowers! O lively sprite of life!
O sacred bond of blissful peace, the stalworth staunch of strife!

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