Friendship

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Dear friend, I pray thee, if thou wouldst be proving
   Thy strong regard for me,
Make me no vows. Lip-service is not loving;
   Let thy faith speak for thee.

Swear not to me that nothing can divide us -
   So little such oaths mean.
But when distrust and envy creep beside us
   Let them not come between.

Say not to me the depths of thy devotion
   Are deeper than the sea;
But watch, lest doubt or some unkind emotion
   Embitter them for me.

Vow not to love me ever and for ever,
   Words are such idle things;
But when we differ in opinions, never
   Hurt me by little stings.

I'm sick of words: they are so lightly spoken,
   And spoken, are but air.
I'd rather feel thy trust in me unbroken
   Than list thy words so fair.

If all the little proofs of trust are heeded,
   If thou art always kind,
No sacrifice, no promise will be needed
   To satisfy my mind.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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