Do kings put faith in fortressed walls, and bar
Their cities' gates, as strong to keep out war?
The constancy of friends is stronger far.
Are lilies pure, that in some vale unknown
Unplucked have blossomed and unpraised have blown?
The constancy of friends is purer.
The constancy of friends is lovelier
Than fame or fortune; past all riches dear;
Impossible to soil by foulest breath;
Their crown is rarer than the conqueror's wreath,
And all their joy securer.
Then let our love be simple, steadfast, true,
And we will Fate and all her arms defy.
With that blind conflict what have we to do,
However stabbed at by Adversity?
The mortal foe is slain, mistrust; the dread
Lest our love lean upon uncertainty;
Mistrust, that poisons the mind's daily bread,
And kills its needful faith.
For us, since our joined hands have made us brave,
Not ev'n Love's boastful foes,
Estranging Time nor separating Death,
Shall call us slave,
So that we keep perfect the name of those
Who did not buy each other's hearts, but gave.
Robert Laurence Binyon
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