If a chum begins acting rum, Not a friend, not a foe, but so... And if suddenly you canít tell If he means ill or well, Take him off mountaineering - dare! But donít let him stray away! When heís roped on one rope with you You find out if heís true. If, as the chap scales, he quails, If his nerve starts to go, and so - He steps backwards, appalled, and falls On a glacier, and bawls - Then youíll know in a trice - no dice, Chase him off - thereís no use in abuse: Youíll do better - no doubt - without him, And donít sing about him. If the chap doesnít moan, or groan, If, though angry or glum, heíll come, And when you miss your step and tumble Heíll hang on, though heíll grumble; If heíll stay with you all the way To the top, as though into the fray - Then youíll know that the man is a friend You can trust to the end.
© Kathryn Hamilton. Translation, 1988