Sunday, June 29, 2014

Poetry Sunday

I have plenty of casual friends, plenty of Facebook friends (many of whom wouldn't recognize me if we passed on the street), plenty of acquaintances and work colleagues, but very few people I would consider to be really close friends ... the kind that I could count on to help me hide a body, for instance. As this poem by Rudyard Kipling reminds us, the truly close friend may be only one in a thousand ...

The Thousandth Man
by Rudyard Kipling

One man in a thousand, Solomon says,
Will stick more close than a brother.
And it’s worthwhile seeking him half your days
If you find him before the other.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine depend
On what the world sees in you,
But the Thousandth Man will stand your friend
With the whole round world agin’ you.

‘Tis neither promise nor prayer nor show
Will settle the finding for ‘ee
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of ‘em go
By your looks or your acts or your glory.
But if he finds you and you find him,
The rest of the world don’t matter;
For the Thousandth Man will sink or swim
With you in any water.

You can use his purse with no more talk
Than he uses yours for his spendings,
And laugh and meet in your daily walk
As if there had been no lendings.
Nine hundred and ninety-nine of ‘em call
For silver and gold in their dealings;
But the Thousandth Man, he’s worth ‘em all
Because you can show him your feelings.

His wrong’s your wrong, and his right’s your right,
In season or out of season,
Stand up and back it in all men’s sight -
With THAT for your only reason!
Nine hundred and ninety-nine can’t bide
The shame or mocking or laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows foot - and after!

Good friends are a treasure beyond price. Keep them close.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Good advice, indeed!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Kipling was a great poet. His "Gunga Din," "Recessional," and "Tommy Atkins" are very significant.

The "Gentlemen-Rankers" gave rise to the "damned from here to eternity."

Duckbutt said...

Rudyard Kipling is, unfortunately, less in style nowadays. That's a shame. He wrote some great poems.

Mike said...

I think this is right... A good friend will bail you out of jail. Your best friend will be sitting next to you in jail saying, 'Wow that was fun!'