He may be six kinds of a liar,
He may be ten kinds of a fool,
He may be a wicked high flyer
Beyond any reason or rule;
There may be a shadow above him
Of ruin and woes to impend,
And I may not respect, but I love him,
Because-well, because he’s my friend.
I know he has faults by the billion,
But his faults are a portion of him;
I know that his record’s vermilion,
And he’s far from the sweet Seraphim;
But he’s always been square with yours truly,
Ready to give or to lend,
And if he is wild and unruly,
I like him-because he’s my friend.
I criticize him but I do it
In just a frank, comradely key,
And back-biting gossips will rue it
If ever they knock him to me!
I never make diagrams of him,
No maps of his soul have I penned;
I don’t analyze-I just love him,
Because -well, because he’s my friend.
- Berton Braley
“Duty,” said Robert E. Lee, “is the sublimest word in the English language.” Second to it, I think, may be “Loyalty.” I like the loyalty toward a friend which is symbolized in this poem. However, in the strictest literal reading of the words, it can be taken too far. Loyalty to my supreme Friend, Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour, sometimes demands a separation from friends, grievous as it is, if they go the way of the wicked and un-godly. Yet, so long as it is not disloyalty to Christ to stick loyally by a friend, whatever else he may be - well, he’s my friend.