My Friend

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

When first I looked upon the face of Pain
I shrank repelled, as one shrinks from a foe
Who stands with dagger poised, as for a blow.
I was in search of Pleasure and of Gain;
I turned aside to let him pass: in vain;
He looked straight in my eyes and would not go.
"Shake hands," he said; "our paths are one, and so
We must be comrades on the way, 'tis plain."

I felt the firm clasp of his hand on mine;
Through all my veins it sent a strengthening glow.
I straightway linked my arm in his, and lo!
He led me forth to joys almost divine;
With God's great truths enriched me in the end:
And now I hold him as my dearest friend.

from Poems of Passion by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1883)

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