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Alas! the days of the crimson phlox

Alas! the days of the crimson phlox and of the proud roses that brightened its gates are far away, but however faded and withered it may be—what matters!—I love our garden still with all my heart.
Its distress is sometimes dearer and sweeter to me than was its gladness in the burning summer days. Oh! the last perfume slowly rendered up by its last flower on its last mosses!
I wandered this evening among its winding pathways, to touch with my earnest fingers all its plants; and falling on my knees amid the trembling grasses, I gave a long kiss to its damp and heavy soil.
And now let it die, and the mist and night come and spread over all; all my being seems to have entered into our garden's ruin, and, by understanding its death, I shall learn to know my own.

Poem by Emile Verhaeren
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