Famous Holiday Poem

Having a close friend is an incredible blessing. It means having someone who’s always there to listen and encourage. In this famous poem by Edgar Guest (1881-1959), he shares of all the great friendship qualities he’d like to return to someone who has displayed them to him. This poem is made up of octaves (eight-line stanzas). It also has a strong sense of structure since most of the stanzas begin with “I’d like to…”

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A Friend's Greeting

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I'd like to be the sort of friend
     that you have been to me;
I'd like to be the help that you've been
     always glad to be;
I'd like to mean as much to you
     each minute of the day
As you have meant, old friend of mine,
     to me along the way.

I'd like to do the big things
     and the splendid things for you,
To brush the gray out of your skies
     and leave them only blue;
I'd like to say the kindly things
     that I so oft have heard,
And feel that I could rouse your soul
     the way that mine you've stirred.

I'd like to give back the joy
     that you have given me,
Yet that were wishing you a need
     I hope will never be;
I'd like to make you feel
     as rich as I, who travel on
Undaunted in the darkest hours
     with you to lean upon.

I'm wishing at this Christmas time
     that I could but repay
A portion of the gladness
     that you've strewn along the way;
And could I have one wish this year,
     this only would it be:
I'd like to be the sort of friend
     that you have been to me.

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