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Life is but the sum of all our pains
And pain the multiple of all our sorrows.

A dream is not life,
Nor life a fantasy;
And yet the world is fanciful
When Nature covers her with white
And scatters diamonds on the frozen ground.

Comes the thaw and naked stands the earth,
The screaming cracking ice upon the river
Bearing witness to the agonies
The tortures of the frost have made her suffer.

Men say the earth is good
And will give birth to food to feed the famined.
Rain falls, and that same earth is mud
Oozing and clinging.
Men drowned and died in agricultural mud
At Paschendale.

Death releases earthly sorrow
And stills the pains of childbirth
Which gave us life.

Life is time; life's spirit is eternity.

1969

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