Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
When he went blundering back to God,
His songs half written, his work half done,
Who knows what paths his bruised feet trod,
What hills of peace or pain he won?
Breathe me the ancient words when I shall find
Your spirit mine; if, seeking you, life wins
New wonder, with old splendor let us bind
Our hearts when Love's high sacrament begins.
Roof-tops, roof-tops, what do you cover?
Sad folk, bad folk, and many a glowing lover;
Wise people, simple people, children of despair --
Roof-tops, roof-tops, hiding pain and care.
When, sick of all the sorrow and distress
That flourished in the City like foul weeds,
I sought blue rivers and green, opulent meads,
And leagues of unregarded loneliness
The jealous Sea moaned in the April night:
'Lo! there are comrades hidden in my heart,
(Ave! Francis Thompson)
He had been singing -- but I had not heard his voice;
He had been weaving lovely dreams of song,
Loud on my roof the regiments of rain
March with their old insistence, and I hear
Troop after troop, column and troop again,
If this be friendship--that one broken hour
(O fragile link in all the loving years!)