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J. Le Gay Brereton

ETERNAL cold of silence, where each sound
    Dies in its birth, and Death’s pale henchmen meet
    With soft Lethean traps unwary feet
Or ride with hell’s white steed and slavering hound;
Which of us, searching selfward, has not found
    This desolate realm, and long black seams, that greet
    Our souls with recollections of defeat,
And torrid fossils in the frozen ground?

Not he, who comes among us as a king;
    Strange were the secret waste and granite walls
        To him whose reverent feet have travelled far
Where duty beckons and adventure calls.
    He steers his course, by one red tropic star,
        Where ripples the green robe of the lilting spring.

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