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George Cabot Lodge

Exordium

Speak! said my soul, be stern and adequate;
The sunset falls from Heaven, the year is late,
Love waits with fallen tresses at thy gate
   And mourns for perished days.
Speak! in the rigor of thy fate and mine,
Ere these scant, dying days, bright-lipped with wine,
All one by one depart, resigned, divine,
   Through desert, autumn ways.

Speak! thou art lonely in thy chilly mind,
With all this desperate solitude of wind,
The solitude of tears that make thee blind,
   Of wild and causeless tears.
Speak! thou hast need of me, heart, hand and head,
Speak, if it be an echo of thy dread,
A dirge of hope, of young illusions dead --
   Perchance God hears!

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