Frankness Between Friends

A famous poem that is funny but a poem that contains wisdom in it. Let this short poem by Berton Braley remind you that it is good to tell your friends the truth, but doing so with diplomacy is always better than attacking a friend. While this poem will make you smile you will also find wisdom in its verses!

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Frankness Between Friends
Poet: Berton Braley

Says Henry Smith to me one day,
"I got a few short words to say,
The which, I want it understood,
I'm tellin' you for your own good.
An' so I'll say, most free an' frank,
The way you act is something rank!
You drink too much, you smoke, you chew,
You swear like common sailors do,
You gamble too, an' lead a life
Most aggravatin' to your wife;
An' folks is sayin' all the time
The way you carry on's a crime!
Why don't you straighten up — I would —
I'm tellin' you for your own good!"

Says I to Mr. Henry Smith,
"Since we are just like kin an' kith,
An' since you told me where I fail
An' why I oughta be in jail,
I'll speak a little word or two
Explainin' what is wrong with you;
The hull of which, it's understood,
I'm tellin' you fer your own good.

"First then," I says, "you're such a cheat
You swindle every one you meet,
You chant your anthems in the church
An* leave your neighbor in the lurch;
You seize an' grab by force an' fraud
An' call it all the will of God.
In short, to say it brief an' quit,
You're miser, crook an' hypocrite,
You'd rob a baby if you could —
I'm tellin' you for your own good!"

But Henry Smith was very queer,
He hit me just behind the ear;
"Of course," he says, "it's understood,
I'm sluggin' you for your own good!

Five coppers come up in their cart
An' pried us old time friends apart,
They took their sticks of loaded wood
An' clubbed us hard for our own good.

In court the Judge says, "Gentlemen,
Don't try to be so frank again,
Be chary of the words you speak
Lest you be swatted on the cheek;
I fine you ten — it's understood
I'm doing it for your own good."

The moral is, don't be too frank,
It gits you nuthin' at the bank,
Just keep your thoughts beneath your hood,
I'm tellin' you for your own good.

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Another short famous poem you may enjoy by Berton Braley:


Poet: Berton Braley

My foes, they are my dearest friends;
They save me from placidity;
They free my life, its aims and ends,
Of sloth and pale vapidity;
They wake me from my dullest doze
And force me to my job again;
They keep me always on my toes,
Alive, alert, athrob again!

My foes! They jeer my smug conceit,
Which I am fondly nourishing;
They chasten me with loss, defeat,
When luck becomes too flourishing.
I dare not halt in my advance
Or shirk things with impunity;
My foes would see in such a chance
A golden opportunity.

My friends - the debt to them is great;
Their love and faith I'm treasuring,
But it's my foes who hold me straight
And help me past all measuring;
They keep me always "in the pink."
A stimulant their venom is,
Which makes me strong and "fit."I drink
A health unto mine enemies!

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