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Three times have I beheld |
Fear leap in a babe’s face, and take his breath,
Fear, like the fear of eld
That knows the price of life, the name of death.
What is it justifies |
This thing, this dread, this fright that has no tongue,
The terror in those eyes
When only eyes can speakthey are so young?
Not yet those eyes had wept. |
What does fear cherish that it locks so well?
What fortress is thus kept?
Of what is ignorant terror sentinel?
And pain in the poor child, |
Monstrously disproportionate, and dumb
In the poor beast, and wild
In the old decorous man, caught, overcome?
Of what the outposts these? |
Of what the fighting guardians? What demands
That sense of menaces,
And then such flying feet, imploring hands?
Life: There’s nought else to seek; |
Life only, little prized; but by design
Of nature prized. How weak,
How sad, how brief! O how divine, divine!
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Lane Core Jr. (email@example.com)
Created April 10, 2001; not revised.