Let those slander fame who will--
Call her cheat and blame her ways.
It may all be true; and still
I shall give her words of praise.
She has been my faithful friend,
True and constant to the end.
Since I saw her hand first beckon
Far above my lowly plain,
I have had no need to reckon
What my loss, or what my gain.
She has made sweet blossoms blow
In whatever path I go;
She hath made the dark ways light,
Made the somber places bright;
She has filled my empty cup
Full to overflow with pleasure,
And, though I may drink it up,
She again refills the measure.
She has never promised aught
That she has not more than brought.
She has stood by me in danger,
Made a friend of many a stranger--
Made a welcome warm for me
Whereso'er my lot may be;
Thrown wide open many a door
That was closed to me before;
Given me every boon and blessing--
Almost--that is worth possessing.
All my life, I never knew
Any other friend so true.
Youth and Love are fleeting things;
Wealth has light and airy wings--
Fame, once mine, will never flee,
She has been a friend to me.
Let who will condemn her ways.
I shall always sing her praise.
Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.
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