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Shall we suffer, alas!

Shall we suffer, alas! the dead weight of the years until at length we are no more than two quiet people, exchanging the harmless kisses of children at evening when the fire flames in the hollow of the chimney?
Shall our dear furniture see us drag ourselves with slow steps from the hearth to the beechen chest, support ourselves by the wall to reach the window, and huddle our tottering bodies on heavy seats?
If our wreck is to appear one day in such guise, while numbness deadens our brains and our arms, we shall not bemoan, in spite of evil fate, and we shall hold our tears pent up in our breasts.
For even so, we shall still keep our eyes with which to gaze on the day that follows night, and to see the dawn and the sun shed their radiance on life, and make a wonderful object of the earth.

Poem by Emile Verhaeren
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