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Before Dawn

by
 Life! Austere arbiter of each man's fate,
By whom he learns that Nature's steadfast laws
Are as decrees immutable; O pause
Your even forward march! Not yet too late
Teach me the needed lesson, when to wait
Inactive as a ship when no wind draws
To stretch the loosened cordage.
One implores Thy clemency, whose wilfulness innate Has gone uncurbed and roughshod while the years Have lengthened into decades; now distressed He knows no rule by which to move or stay, And teased with restlessness and desperate fears He dares not watch in silence thy wise way Bringing about results none could have guessed.

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