When upon life's tangled roads,
a stranger you do meet —
in torn and tattered traveling clothes
or finer, gentler, 'ttire —
conspire not, within yourself
to bypass the passerby.
For whether they of kindred be
or of some other's sire,
tis not for you, their judgment mete.
But approach them and salute!
In friendship give a willing hand;
their burden you should loose.
And when, anon, the road divides,
do not part in haste.
But walk with them til eventide.
And walk with them again.
Then turn, embrace, and kiss:
this stranger you made a friend.
For ere you walked alone
in dire circumstance
for whither a man without a home?
Where is his happiness?
But when, with a friend, his road he takes,
there will he find his bliss.
So when upon life's harrowed path
a stranger's path you cross,
remember what a friendship hath
and more the merry be:
but do not forget in passing by
that kindness begins with thee.
This was a poem I wrote during my mission for a talk I was asked to give. It's a little contrived, but I like its cadence and its message.