Our Old Friend Neverfail

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

O it's good to ketch a relative 'at's richer and don't run
When you holler out to hold up, and'll joke and have his fun;
It's good to hear a man called bad and then find out he's not,
Er strike some chap they call lukewarm 'at's really red-hot;

It's good to know the Devil's painted jes' a leetle black,
And it's good to have most anybody pat you on the back; -
But jes' the best thing in the world's our old friend Neverfail,
When he wags yer hand as honest as an old dog wags his tail!

I like to strike the man I owe the same time I can pay,
And take back things I've borried, and su'prise folks thataway;
I like to find out that the man I voted fer last fall,
That didn't git elected, was a scoundrel after all;
I like the man that likes the pore and he'ps 'em when he can;
I like to meet a ragged tramp 'at's still a gentleman;
But most I like - with you, my boy - our old friend Neverfail,
When he wags yer hand as honest as an old dog wags his tail!

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