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  My Friend  


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.

       - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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