Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

(20 April 1826 - 12 October 1887 / Stoke-on-Trent / England)

My Friend - Poem by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

MY Friend wears a cheerful smile of his own,
And a musical tongue has he;
We sit and look in each other's face,
And are very good company.
A heart he has, full warm and red
As ever a heart I see;
And as long as I keep true to him,
Why, he'll keep true to me.

When the wind blows high and the snow falls fast
And we hear the wassailers' roar--
My Friend and I, with a right good-will
We bolt the chamber door:
I smile at him and he smiles at me
In a dreamy calm profound,
Till his heart leaps up in the midst of him
With a comfortable sound.

His warm breath kisses my thin gray hair
And reddens my ashen cheeks;
He knows me better than you all know,
Though never a word he speaks:--
Knows me as well as some had known
Were things--not as things be.
But hey, what matters? my Friend and I
Are capital company.

At dead of night, when the house is still,
He opens his pictures fair;
Faces that are, that used to be,
And faces that never were:
My wife sits sewing beside my hearth,
My little ones frolic wild,
Though--Lilian's married these twenty years,
And I never had a child.

But hey, what matters? When those who laugh
May weep to-morrow, and they
Who weep be as those that wept not--all
Their tears long wiped away.
I shall burn out, like you, my Friend,
With a bright warm heart and bold,
That flickers up to the last--then drops
Into quiet ashes cold.

And when you flicker on me, old Friend,
In the old man's elbow-chair,
Or--something easier still, where we
Lie down, to arise up fair
And young, and happy--why then, my Friend,
Should other friends ask of me,
Tell them I lived and loved and died
In the best of all company.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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