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To An Unborn Pauper Child

 Breathe not, hid Heart: cease silently,
And though thy birth-hour beckons thee,
Sleep the long sleep:
The Doomsters heap
Travails and teens around us here,
And Time-Wraiths turn our songsingings to fear.
Hark, how the peoples surge and sigh, And laughters fail, and greetings die; Hopes dwindle; yea, Faiths waste away, Affections and enthusiasms numb: Thou canst not mend these things if thou dost come.
Had I the ear of wombed souls Ere their terrestrial chart unrolls, And thou wert free To cease, or be, Then would I tell thee all I know, And put it to thee: Wilt thou take Life so? Vain vow! No hint of mine may hence To theeward fly: to thy locked sense Explain none can Life's pending plan: Thou wilt thy ignorant entry make Though skies spout fire and blood and nations quake.
Fain would I, dear, find some shut plot Of earth's wide wold for thee, where not One tear, one qualm, Should break the calm.
But I am weak as thou and bare; No man can change the common lot to rare.
Must come and bide.
And such are we -- Unreasoning, sanguine, visionary -- That I can hope Health, love, friends, scope In full for thee; can dream thou'lt find Joys seldom yet attained by humankind!

Poem by Thomas Hardy
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