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|Length of Days|
|To the Early Dead in Battle|
There is no length of days |
But yours, boys who were children once. Of old
The Past beset you in your childish ways,
With sense of Time untold.
What have you then forgone? |
A history? This you had. Or memories?
These, too, you had of your far-distant dawn.
No further dawn seems his,
The old man who shares with you, |
But has no more, no more. Time’s mystery
Did once for him the most that it can do:
He has had infancy.
And all his dreams, and all |
His loves for mighty Nature, sweet and few,
Are but the dwindling past he can recall
Of what his childhood knew.
He counts not any more |
His brief, his present years. But O he knows
How far apart the summers were of yore,
How far apart the snows.
Therefore be satisfied; |
Long life is in your treasury ere you fall;
Yes, and first love, like Dante’s. O a bride
For ever mystical!
Irrevocable good, |
You dead, and now about, so young, to die,
Your childhood was; there Space, there Multitude,
There dwelt Antiquity.
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Lane Core Jr. (email@example.com)
Created April 9, 2001; not revised.