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If I had been

before I was,

before my birth,

and you had said,

before I was,

that I would be

upon this earth,,

I would have said,

had I a tongue,

it cannot be.


If you were now

to say to me,

now I am here

and fit and young

that I will be

when I’m no more,

I’d tend to say

it cannot be -

but now perhaps

I’m not so sure.


And if it is

that I persist

when others think

I am no more,

then I surmise

that future life

will likely be

as great a leap

as great surprise

as this, my life,

has proved to be

from anything

that went before.

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