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Limits

by
 Of all the streets that blur in to the sunset,
There must be one (which, I am not sure)
That I by now have walked for the last time
Without guessing it, the pawn of that Someone

Who fixes in advance omnipotent laws,
Sets up a secret and unwavering scale
for all the shadows, dreams, and forms
Woven into the texture of this life.
If there is a limit to all things and a measure And a last time and nothing more and forgetfulness, Who will tell us to whom in this house We without knowing it have said farewell? Through the dawning window night withdraws And among the stacked books which throw Irregular shadows on the dim table, There must be one which I will never read.
There is in the South more than one worn gate, With its cement urns and planted cactus, Which is already forbidden to my entry, Inaccessible, as in a lithograph.
There is a door you have closed forever And some mirror is expecting you in vain; To you the crossroads seem wide open, Yet watching you, four-faced, is a Janus.
There is among all your memories one Which has now been lost beyond recall.
You will not be seen going down to that fountain Neither by white sun nor by yellow moon.
You will never recapture what the Persian Said in his language woven with birds and roses, When, in the sunset, before the light disperses, You wish to give words to unforgettable things.
And the steadily flowing Rhone and the lake, All that vast yesterday over which today I bend? They will be as lost as Carthage, Scourged by the Romans with fire and salt.
At dawn I seem to hear the turbulent Murmur of crowds milling and fading away; They are all I have been loved by, forgotten by; Space, time, and Borges now are leaving me.

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