I looked at life through stainless panes. My friend and I then grew rife And in clumsy love had strife: Life's transparency in the littered lane Lay sharded. Never again Would sky suspend its peerless blue As though some heaven loved we two, For we two loved without sin. Each sweet self-enmansioned soul Came to battle in dire array But would not fight, yet would not stay -And each departed for obscurer goals. What finer, more enlightened path Might Life lend our wandering ways Than sheltered friendship as a stay Against galled wounds that make us wroth? What against gauche chance may make amends? What but friendship has the power To wipe the brow in feverous hour- What else may ease us ere the end? Nothing else has friendship's function Nor can solace the absent pain Of friendship gone, not come again, Friendship faded to a fiction.