The Thousandth Man

One man in a thousand, Solomon says,
Will stick more close than a brother.
And it`s worth while 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 though 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!

Год написания:
1910 год

Хотя в первой строке упоминается царь Соломон, стихотворение написано на слова книги Премудрости Иисуса сына Сирахова (гл. 6, стих 5): "Живущих с тобою в мире да будет много, а советником твоим - один из тысячи" – и далее речь идет как раз о друге.

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