Edgar Albert Guest

20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England


You can buy, if you've got money, all you need to drink and eat,
You can pay for bread and honey, and can keep your palate sweet.
But when trouble comes to fret you, and when sorrow comes your way,
For the gentle hand of friendship that you need you cannot pay.

You can buy with gold and silver things you've got to have to wear,
You can purchase all that's needful, when your skies
are bright and fair;
But when clouds begin to gather and when trouble rules the day
Your money doesn't lure a friend worth while to come your way.

For the hand that's warm and gripping and the heart's that tender, too,
Are what all men living sigh for when they're sorrowful and blue,
For there's nothing that's so soothing and so comforting right then
As the gladly given friendship of a fellow's fellow men.

A hand upon your shoulder and a whispered word of cheer
Are the things that keep you going when your trouble time is here;
And you'll hate the gold you've gathered and the buildings that you own
If you have to bear your troubles and your sorrows all alone.

If you've served a golden idol you will get as your reward
All the luxuries of living that the coins of gold afford,
But you'll be the poorest mortal and the saddest in the end
When the clouds of trouble gather—and you're hungry for a friend.
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