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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Two Friends

By Charles Godfrey Leland (1824–1903)

[Born in Philadelphia, Penn., 1824. Died in Florence, Italy, 1903. The Music Lesson of Confucius, and Other Poems. 1872.]

I HAVE two friends—two glorious friends—two better could not be,

And every night when midnight tolls they meet to laugh with me.

The first was shot by Carlist thieves—ten years ago in Spain.

The second drowned near Alicante—while I alive remain.

I love to see their dim white forms come floating through the night,

And grieve to see them fade away in early morning light.

The first with gnomes in the Under Land is leading a lordly life,

The second has married a mer-maiden, a beautiful water-wife.

And since I have friends in the Earth and sea—with a few, I trust, on high,

’Tis a matter of small account to me—the way that I may die.

For whether I sink in the foaming flood, or swing on the triple tree,

Or die in my bed, as a Christian should, is all the same to me.