William Ernest Henley

1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England

Friends.... Old Friends......

Friends… old friends…
One sees how it ends.
A woman looks
Or a man lies,
And the pleasant brooks
And the quiet skies,
Ruined with brawling
And caterwauling,
Enchant no more
As they did before,
And so it ends
With friends.

Friends… old friends…
And what if it ends?
Shall we dare to shirk
What we live to learn?
It has done its work,
It has served its turn;
And, forgive and forget
Or hanker and fret,
We can be no more
As we were before.
When it ends, it ends
With friends.

Friends… old friends…
So it breaks, so it ends.
There let it rest!
It has fought and won,
And is still the best
That either has done.
Each as he stands
The work of its hands
Which shall be more
As he was before?…
What is it ends
With friends?
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