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So many minutes since have stolen
The seconds from whence they came;
For fall must claim the summer broken,
And so memory is never quite the same
Seen twice, or thrice again:

Some forgotten detail must forever perish,
Some streak of colour, vivid, fall
To those monsters of oblivion that devour, relish
The hundred recollections that hold in thrall
A teeming horde of ink and stain;

And emotions snake, and curl their tendrils around
Memory, and all her many dreams within:
Smoke, and mirrors, that friendly frightful sound
Of a heart that, forgotten, still beats the living
Imprints of a hazy strain

Of a music, loved, through storm and rust -
Of symphony, mangled, by a love for the lust
Of a melody wilder than could be tamed,
By a tune too distant to be saved
From where it was slain;

Now ghosts must diminish, and despair
Of halls too meagre to haunt and claim:
For mists in a weary fog cannot scare
The infants of an age, come to fade
Seen twice, or thrice again;

And now I walk, in snow and fog unfettered
By a chain of attachments, slowly swallowed
By age, and a tide of hosts unlettered:
Vague, capricious kings of tomorrow
Dreamed twice, or thrice again;

So let me rest, and my tombstone inter
My memory, traced on stone, for me:
Memories of moments that never were,
Nor, in passing, could ever be
The thoughts of my passing train...