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Heritage

What is Africa to me:
Copper sun or scarlet sea,
Jungle star or jungle track,
Strong bronzed men, or regal black
Women from whose loins I sprang
When the birds of Eden sang?
One three centuries removed
From the scenes his fathers loved,
Spicy grove, cinnamon tree,
What is Africa to me?

So I lie, who all day long
Want no sound except the song
Sung by wild barbaric birds
Goading massive jungle herds,
Juggernauts of flesh that pass
Trampling tall defiant grass
Where young forest lovers lie,
Plighting troth beneath the sky.
So I lie, who always hear,

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John Gay

The Shepherd's Week : Thursday; or, The Spell

Hobnelia.
Hobnelia, seated in a dreary vale,
In pensive mood rehears'd her piteous tale,
Her piteous tale the wind in sighs bemoan,
And pining echo answers groan for groan.
I rue the day, a rueful day I trow,
The woful day, a day indeed of wo!
When Lubberkin to town his cattle drove,
A maiden fine bedight he hap'd to love;
The maiden fine bedight his love retains,
And for the village he forsakes the plains.
Return, my Lubberkin, these ditties hear;
Spells will I try, and spells shall ease my care.
'With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.'
When first the year, I heard the cuckoo sing,
And call with welcome note the budding spring,
I straightway set a running with such haste,
Deborah that won the smock scarce ran so fast.
'Till spent for lack of breath quite weary grown,

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John Keats

Endymion: Book II

O Sovereign power of love! O grief! O balm!
All records, saving thine, come cool, and calm,
And shadowy, through the mist of passed years:
For others, good or bad, hatred and tears
Have become indolent; but touching thine,
One sigh doth echo, one poor sob doth pine,
One kiss brings honey-dew from buried days.
The woes of Troy, towers smothering o'er their blaze,
Stiff-holden shields, far-piercing spears, keen blades,
Struggling, and blood, and shrieks--all dimly fades
Into some backward corner of the brain;
Yet, in our very souls, we feel amain
The close of Troilus and Cressid sweet.
Hence, pageant history! hence, gilded cheat!
Swart planet in the universe of deeds!
Wide sea, that one continuous murmur breeds
Along the pebbled shore of memory!
Many old rotten-timber'd boats there be
Upon thy vaporous bosom, magnified
To goodly vessels; many a sail of pride,

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Death.

The natural death we each night undergo
Should teach us that our passing's but a sleep,
Which we beyond the body's shadow may,
Even as a garment of the day we doff,
Put off for ever, being then no more
Nor less, indeed, than we have been before.

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Death.

The natural death we each night undergo
Should teach us that our passing's but a sleep,
Which we beyond the body's shadow may,
Even as a garment of the day we doff,
Put off for ever, being then no more
Nor less, indeed, than we have been before.

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Death.

The natural death we each night undergo
Should teach us that our passing's but a sleep,
Which we beyond the body's shadow may,
Even as a garment of the day we doff,
Put off for ever, being then no more
Nor less, indeed, than we have been before.

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A Wood Song

Now one and all, you Roses,
Wake up, you lie too long!
This very morning closes
The Nightingale his song;

Each from its olive chamber
His babies every one
This very morning clamber
Into the shining sun.

You Slug-a-beds and Simples,
Why will you so delay!
Dears, doff your olive wimples,
And listen while you may.

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Lethe.

The waves of Lethe wash till we forget
Our earthy life and love; and 'twould appear
Before Time's tune possessed us, before we
Let fall the shadow of our meaning here —
Oh, it would seem that in another Lethe
We had been dipped as Death will dip us, to
Wash out the memory of ourselves, as though
Each stage had its own livery, and we threw
Off the old meaning, like the garments that,
Worn and occasion-soiled, men doff when they
Have to look natural in another sphere.

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The Dying Gipsy Smuggler

Wasted, weary, wherefore stay,
Wrestling thus with earth and clay?
From the body pass away;-
Hark! the mass is singing.

From thee doff thy mortal weed,
Mary Mother be thy speed,
Saints to help thee at thy need;-
Hark! the knell is ringing.

Fear not snow-drift driving fast,
Sleet, or hail, or levin blast;
Soon the shroud shall lap thee fast,
And the sleep be on thee cast
That shall ne'er know waking.

Haste thee, haste thee, to be gone,
Earth flits fast, and time draws on,-
Gasp thy gasp, and groan thy groan,
Day is near the breaking.

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Beyond The Years

I.
BEYOND the years the answer lies,
Beyond where brood the grieving skies
And Night drops tears.
Where Faith rod-chastened smiles to rise
And doff its fears,
And carping Sorrow pines and dies —
Beyond the years.
II.
Beyond the years the prayer for rest
Shall beat no more within the breast;
The darkness clears,
And Morn perched on the mountain's crest
Her form uprears —
The day that is to come is best,
Beyond the years.
III.
Beyond the years the soul shall find
That endless peace for which it pined,
For light appears,

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