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Adolescence

 There was a time when in late afternoon 
The four-o'clocks would fold up at day's close 
Pink-white in prayer, and 'neath the floating moon 
I lay with them in calm and sweet repose.
And in the open spaces I could sleep, Half-naked to the shining worlds above; Peace came with sleep and sleep was long and deep, Gained without effort, sweet like early love.
But now no balm--nor drug nor weed nor wine-- Can bring true rest to cool my body's fever, Nor sweeten in my mouth the acid brine, That salts my choicest drink and will forever.

Poem by Claude Mckay
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