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In Decline

Charles Johnston

I've seen my day before its noon decline,
And dark is still the future, nor alas!
Can hope with all the magic of her glass
Irradiate the deep gloom which fate malign

Has gathered round; yet will I not repine;
For though the courage that can do and dare
Be brightest glory, unsubdued to bear,
That calmer, better virtue may be mine;

For this is of the mind; to slay, be slain
Asks but a moment's energies, and fame
First wakens and then keeps alive the flame;
But patience must itself, itself sustain,

And must itself reward, nor hope to find
The praise or the compassion of mankind.

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