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Be A Friend

Edgar Albert Guest

About The Author

After he began at the Detroit Free Press as a copy boy and then a reporter, his first poem appeared 11 December 1898. He became a naturalized citizen in 1902.


For 40 years, Guest was widely read throughout North America, and his sentimental, optimistic poems were in the same vein as the light verse of Nick Kenny, who wrote syndicated columns during the same decades.

From his first published work in the Detroit Free Press until his death in 1959, Guest penned some 11,000 poems which were syndicated in some 300 newspapers and collected in more than 20 books, including A Heap o' Livin' (1916) and Just Folks (1923–1957). Guest was made Poet Laureate of Michigan, the only poet to have been awarded the title.

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About The Poem

The benefits of being a friend far outweigh the benefits of possessing riches. In the first stanza, the poet says that to be a friend, you don't need money. Instead, you just need to have the will to get along with others, the will to extend a hand to people who don't have friends, and the will to give and lend.

In the second stanza, the poet says that friendship does not require glory--only the willingness to overlook small faults, reward effort, and pity those who need help. In the last stanza, the poet states that friendship will reap larger rewards than endeavours that earn large sums of money from cleverness. If you are a good friend, you'll have friends, not merely neighbors, and be richer than a prince.

Be A Friend

by:  Edgar Albert Guest

Be a friend. You don't need money:

Just a disposition sunny;

Just the wish to help another

Get along some way or other;

Just a kindly hand extended

Out to one who's unbefriended;

Just the will to give or lend,

This will make you someone's friend.


Be a friend. You don't need glory.

Friendship is a simple story.

Pass by trifling errors blindly,

Gaze on honest effort kindly,

Cheer the youth who's bravely trying,

Pity him who's sadly sighing;

Just a little labor spend

On the duties of a friend.


Be a friend. The pay is bigger

(Though not written by a figure)

Than is earned by people clever

In what's merely self-endeavor.

You'll have friends instead of neighbors

For the profits of your labors;

You'll be richer in the end

Than a prince, if you're a friend.

‘ दोस्ती के वास्ते ’

Transcreated by
'Ambar' Kharbanda

दोस्ती के वास्ते पैसा बहुत हो, झूठ है

दोस्ती के वास्ते इक दिल बड़ा-सा चाहिए

प्यार हो दिल में बहुत-सा, हो मदद करने की ज़िद

दूसरों के साथ चलने का इरादा चाहिए

दोस्ती के वास्ते इक दिल बड़ा-सा चाहिए

जिनका कोई दोस्त ही हो और न कोई हमसफ़र

उनको भी दिल से लगाने की तमन्ना चाहिए

दोस्ती के वास्ते इक दिल बड़ा-सा चाहिए


दोस्त होने के लिए जगमग हो दुनिया आपकी

और हो भरपूर दौलत ऐसा हमने कब कहा

आप हों शामिल किसी के दुःख, किसी के दर्द में

दोस्ती के वास्ते तो बस ये पैमाना रहा

छोटी छोटी ग़लतियों को भूल कर आगे बढ़ें

और अच्छी कोशिशों की क़द्र हो वादा रहा

दोस्ती के वास्ते तो बस ये पैमाना रहा


दोस्ती से बढ़ के दुनिया में कोई दौलत नहीं

दोस्ती की तो लगा सकता कोई कीमत नहीं

हर पड़ोसी को बना लोगे अगर तुम दोस्त तो

फिर तो दुनिया में कोई भी तुम-सा ख़ुश-क़िस्मत नहीं

और ऐसा हो तो सच मानो कि तुम धनवान हो

दोस्त सच्चे हो तो तुम सचमुच बड़े इंसान हो

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