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MY first gift and my last, to you
I dedicate this fascicle of songs -
The only wealth I have:
Just as they are, to you.
I speak the truth in soberness, and say
I had rather bring a light to your clear eyes,
Had rather hear you praise
This bosomful of songs
Than that the whole, hard world with one consent,
In one continuous chorus of applause
Poured forth for me and mine
The homage of ripe praise.
I write the finis here against my love,
This is my love's last epitaph and tomb.
Here the road forks, and I
Go my way, far from yours.
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