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Inheritance

by
 AS flow the rivers to the sea
Adown from rocky hill or plain,
A thousand ages toiled for thee
And gave thee harvest of their gain;
And weary myriads of yore
Dug out for thee earth’s buried ore.
The shadowy toilers for thee fought In chaos of primeval day Blind battles with they knew not what; And each before he passed away Gave clear articulate cries of woe: Your pain is theirs of long ago.
And all the old heart sweetness sung, The joyous life of man and maid In forests when the earth was young, In rumours round your childhood strayed: The careless sweetness of your mind Comes from the buried years behind.
And not alone unto your birth Their gifts the weeping ages bore, The old descents of God on earth Have dowered thee with celestial lore: So, wise, and filled with sad and gay You pass unto the further day.

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