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Heritage

 Now the dead past seems vividly alive,
And in this shining moment I can trace,
Down through the vista of the vanished years,
Your faun-like form, your fond elusive face.
And suddenly some secret spring's released, And unawares a riddle is revealed, And I can read like large, black-lettered print, What seemed before a thing forever sealed.
I know the magic word, the graceful thought, The song that fills me in my lucid hours, The spirit's wine that thrills my body through, And makes me music-drunk, are yours, all yours.
I cannot praise, for you have passed from praise, I have no tinted thoughts to paint you true; But I can feel and I can write the word; The best of me is but the least of you.

by Claude McKay
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