Benjamin Cutler Clark (1825-1875 / the United States)
Friendship is seldom found on earth—
At least we've heard it said—
For, when enjoying pleasant mirth,
We seldom need its aid.
Is Friendship, then, an empty dream—
A phantom in disguise—
A vision only to be seen
By those of double eyes?
Or is it really felt or found
By those in deep distress—
Like rain upon the parched ground,
Or barren wilderness?
Ye who have felt the bitter pang
Of unrelenting grief,
Tell me, when Friendship never sprang
To offer you relief?
When, like the solitary dove
In woodbine, all alone,
Your pensive notes of absent love
Have caus'd your heart to moan,—
Has not the hand of some kind friend
Assuaged your troubl'd breast?
Has no one offered to defend,
Or aid you when distress'd?
Is Friendship only felt at best
Where plenty reigns supreme;
And seldom to be found the guest
Of poverty unseen?
Oh, no! disint'rested friendship can,
And has been found, we know—
A purer, sweeter friendship than
This earth can e'er bestow.
A friendship that is undefiled
Flows down from heaven above;—
Then seek it, as a little child
First seeks its parents' love.
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