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The Fathers

by
 Our fathers all were poor,
Poorer our fathers' fathers;
Beyond, we dare not look.
We, the sons, keep store Of tarnished gold that gathers Around us from the night, Record it in this book That, when the line is drawn, Credit and creditor gone, Column and figure flown, Will open into light.
Archaic fevers shake Our healthy flesh and blood Plumped in the passing day And fed with pleasant food.
The fathers' anger and ache Will not, will not away And leave the living alone, But on our careless brows Faintly their furrows engrave Like veinings in a stone, Breathe in the sunny house Nightmare of blackened bone, Cellar and choking cave.
Panics and furies fly Through our unhurried veins, Heavenly lights and rains Purify heart and eye, Past agonies purify And lay the sullen dust.
The angers will not away.
We hold our fathers' trust, Wrong, riches, sorrow and all Until they topple and fall, And fallen let in the day.

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