Emily Dickinson

E
Emily Dickinson
I have never seen "Volcanoes" — (175)
I have never seen "Volcanoes" —
But, when Travellers tell
How those old — phlegmatic mountains
Usually so still —

Bear within — appalling Ordnance,
Fire, and smoke, and gun,
Taking Villages for breakfast,
And appalling Men —
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141
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Crumbling is not an instant's Act (1010)
Crumbling is not an instant's Act
A fundamental pause
Dilapidation's processes
Are organized Decays —

'Tis first a Cobweb on the Soul
A Cuticle of Dust
A Borer in the Axis
An Elemental Rust —
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36
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Fame is the one that does not stay — (1507)
Fame is the one that does not stay —
It's occupant must die
Or out of sight of estimate
Ascend incessantly —
Or be that most insolvent thing
A Lightning in the Germ —
Electrical the embryo
But we demand the Flame
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39
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I would not paint — a picture — (348)
I would not paint — a picture —
I'd rather be the One
It's bright impossibility
To dwell — delicious — on —
And wonder how the fingers feel
Whose rare — celestial — stir —
Evokes so sweet a torment —
Such sumptuous — Despair —
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36
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Now I knew I lost her — (1274)
Now I knew I lost her —
Not that she was gone —
But Remoteness travelled
On her Face and Tongue.

Alien, though adjoining
As a Foreign Race —
Traversed she though pausing
Latitudeless Place.
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41
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The Poets light but Lamps — (930)
The Poets light but Lamps —
Themselves — go out —
The Wicks they stimulate
If vital Light

Inhere as do the Suns —
Each Age a Lens
Disseminating their
Circumference —
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38
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Tell all the truth but tell it slant — (1263)
Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —
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41
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This World is not Conclusion (373)
This World is not Conclusion.
A Species stands beyond -
Invisible, as Music-
But positive, as Sound-
It beckons, and it baffles-
Philosophy, dont know-
And through a Riddle, at the last-
Sagacity, must go-
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39
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A Bird, came down the Walk - (359)
A Bird, came down the Walk -
He did not know I saw -
He bit an Angle Worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then, he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass -
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass -
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41
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The morns are meeker than they were - (32)
The morns are meeker than they were -
The nuts are getting brown -
The berry’s cheek is plumper -
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf -
The field a scarlet gown -
Lest I sh'd be old-fashioned
I’ll put a trinket on.
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37
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Banish Air from Air - (963)
Banish Air from Air -
Divide Light if you dare -
They'll meet
While Cubes in a Drop
Or Pellets of Shape
Fit -
Films cannot annul
Odors return whole
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35
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The Soul has Bandaged moments - (360)
The Soul has Bandaged moments -
When too appalled to stir -
She feels some ghastly Fright come up
And stop to look at her -

Salute her, with long fingers -
Caress her freezing hair -
Sip, Goblin, from the very lips
The Lover - hovered - o'er -
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39
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Glass was the Street - in Tinsel Peril (1518)
Glass was the Street - in Tinsel Peril
Tree and Traveller stood.
Filled was the Air with merry venture
Hearty with Boys the Road.

Shot the lithe Sleds like Shod vibrations
Emphacized and gone
It is the Past’s supreme italic
Makes the Present mean -
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42
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I never hear that one is dead (1325)
I never hear that one is dead
Without the chance of Life
Afresh annihilating me
That mightiest Belief,

Too mighty for the Daily mind
That tilling it’s abyss,
Had Madness, had it once or, Twice
The yawning Consciousness,
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46
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In this short Life that only lasts an hour (1292)
In this short Life that only lasts an hour
How much - how little - is within our power
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44
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The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants - (1350)
The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants -
At Evening, it is not
At Morning, in a Truffled Hut
It stop opon a Spot

As if it tarried always
And yet it’s whole Career
Is shorter than a Snake’s Delay -
And fleeter than a Tare -
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35
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A not admitting of the wound (1188)
A not admitting of the wound
Until it grew so wide
That all my Life had entered it
And there were troughs beside -

A closing of the simple lid that opened to the sun
Until the tender Carpenter
Perpetual nail it down -
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45
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I like to see it lap the Miles - (383)
I like to see it lap the Miles -
And lick the Valleys up -
And stop to feed itself at Tanks -
And then - prodigious step

Around a Pile of Mountains -
And supercilious peer
In Shanties - by the sides of Roads -
And then a Quarry pare
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38
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To fight aloud is very brave - (138)
To fight aloud, is very brave -
But gallanter, I know
Who charge within the bosom
The Calvalry of Wo -

Who win, and nations do not see -
Who fall - and none observe -
Whose dying eyes, no Country
Regards with patriot love -
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40
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Mine - by the Right of the White Election! (411)
Mine - by the Right of the White Election!
Mine - by the Royal Seal!
Mine - by the sign in the Scarlet prison -
Bars - cannot conceal!

Mine - here - in Vision - and in Veto!
Mine - by the Grave's Repeal -
Titled - Confirmed -
Delirious Charter!
Mine - long as Ages steal!
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36
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My Life had stood - a Loaded Gun (764)
My Life had stood - a Loaded Gun -
In Corners - till a Day
The Owner passed - identified -
And carried Me away -

And now We roam in Sovreign Woods -
And now We hunt the Doe -
And every time I speak for Him
The Mountains straight reply -
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37
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How many times these low feet staggered (238)
How many times these low feet staggered -
Only the soldered mouth can tell -
Try - can you stir the awful rivet -
Try - can you lift the hasps of steel!

Stroke the cool forehead - hot so often -
Lift - if you care - the listless hair -
Handle the adamantine fingers
Never a thimble - more - shall wear -
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38
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I heard a Fly buzz - when I died - (591)
I heard a Fly buzz - when I died -
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air -
Between the Heaves of Storm -

The Eyes around - had wrung them dry -
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset - when the King
Be witnessed - in the Room -
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36
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It sifts from Leaden Sieves - (291)
It sifts from Leaden Sieves -
It powders all the Wood.
It fills with Alabaster Wool
The Wrinkles of the Road -

It makes an even Face
Of Mountain, and of Plain -
Unbroken Forehead from the East
Unto the East again -
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34
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Much Madness is divinest Sense - (620)
Much Madness is divinest Sense -
To a discerning Eye -
Much Sense - the starkest Madness -
’Tis the Majority
In this, as all, prevail -
Assent - and you are sane -
Demur - you’re straightway dangerous -
And handled with a Chain -
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36
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Snow flakes. (45)
I counted till they danced so
Their slippers leaped the town –
And then I took a pencil
To note the rebels down –
And then they grew so jolly
I did resign the prig –
And ten of my once stately toes
Are marshalled for a jig!
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36
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A Route of Evanescence, (1489)
A Route of Evanescence,
With a revolving Wheel –
A Resonance of Emerald
A Rush of Cochineal –
And every Blossom on the Bush
Adjusts it’s tumbled Head –
The Mail from Tunis – probably,
An easy Morning’s Ride –
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39
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After great pain, a formal feeling comes – (372)
After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?

The Feet, mechanical, go round –
A Wooden way
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
Regardless grown,
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42
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All overgrown by cunning moss, (146)
All overgrown by cunning moss,
All interspersed with weed,
The little cage of “Currer Bell”
In quiet “Haworth” laid.

This Bird – observing others
When frosts too sharp became
Retire to other latitudes –
Quietly did the same –
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37
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Because I could not stop for Death
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The Carriage held but just Ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility.
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95
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Before I got my eye put out – (336)
Before I got my eye put out –
I liked as well to see
As other creatures, that have eyes –
And know no other way –

But were it told to me, Today,
That I might have the Sky
For mine, I tell you that my Heart
Would split, for size of me –
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38
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Come slowly – Eden! (205)
Come slowly – Eden!
Lips unused to Thee –
Bashful – sip thy Jessamines –
As the fainting Bee –

Reaching late his flower,
Round her chamber hums –
Counts his nectars –
Enters – and is lost in Balms.
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39
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“Faith” is a fine invention (202)
“Faith” is a fine invention
For Gentlemen who see!
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency!
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43
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Fame is a bee. (1788)
Fame is a bee.
It has a song—
It has a sting—
Ah, too, it has a wing.
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43
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Fame is a fickle food (1702)
Fame is a fickle food
Upon a shifting plate
Whose table once a
Guest but not
The second time is set
Whose crumbs the crows inspect
And with ironic caw
Flap past it to the
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47
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Forever – is composed of Nows – (690)
Forever – is composed of Nows –
‘Tis not a different time –
Except for Infiniteness –
And Latitude of Home –

From this – experienced Here –
Remove the Dates – to These –
Let Months dissolve in further Months –
And Years – exhale in Years –
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35
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I dwell in Possibility – (466)
I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –
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39
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I know that He exists. (365)
I know that He exists.
Somewhere – in silence –
He has hid his rare life
From our gross eyes.

’Tis an instant’s play –
’Tis a fond Ambush –
Just to make Bliss
Earn her own surprise!
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32
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I never hear the word “Escape” (144)
I never hear the word “Escape”
Without a quicker blood,
A sudden expectation –
A flying attitude!

I never hear of prisons broad
By soldiers battered down,
But I tug childish at my bars
Only to fail again!
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41
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The Moon is distant from the Sea – (387)
The Moon is distant from the Sea –
And yet, with Amber Hands –
She leads Him – docile as a Boy –
Along appointed Sands –

He never misses a Degree –
Obedient to Her eye –
He comes just so far – toward the Town –
Just so far – goes away –
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37
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Of Glory not a Beam is left (1685)
Of Glory not a Beam is left
But her Eternal House –
The Asterisk is for the Dead,
The Living, for the Stars –
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45
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Publication – is the Auction (788)
Publication – is the Auction
Of the Mind of Man –
Poverty – be justifying
For so foul a thing

Possibly – but We – would rather
From Our Garret go
White – unto the White Creator –
Than invest – Our Snow –
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39
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Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – (236)
Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –
I keep it, staying at Home –
With a Bobolink for a Chorister –
And an Orchard, for a Dome –

Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice –
I, just wear my Wings –
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton – sings.
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33
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Success is counted sweetest (112)
Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of victory
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37
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There is no Frigate like a Book (1286)
There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –
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37
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There's a certain Slant of light, (320)
There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference –
Where the Meanings, are –
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31
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They shut me up in Prose – (445)
They shut me up in Prose –
As when a little Girl
They put me in the Closet –
Because they liked me “still”–

Still! Could themself have peeped –
And seen my Brain – go round –
They might as wise have lodged a Bird
For Treason – in the Pound –
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39
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You left me – Sire – two Legacies – (713)
You left me – Sire – two Legacies –
A Legacy of Love
A Heavenly Father would suffice
Had He the offer of –

You left me Boundaries of Pain –
Capacious as the Sea –
Between Eternity and Time –
Your Consciousness – and me –
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35
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I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, (340)
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading - treading - till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through -

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum -
Kept beating - beating - till I thought
My mind was going numb -
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35
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I started Early – Took my Dog – (656)
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37
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Let me not thirst with this Hock at my Lip
Let me not thirst with this Hock at my Lip,
Nor beg, with domains in my pocket—
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36
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A narrow Fellow in the Grass (1096)
A narrow Fellow in the Grass
Occasionally rides -
You may have met him? Did you not
His notice instant is -

The Grass divides as with a Comb,
A spotted Shaft is seen,
And then it closes at your Feet
And opens further on -
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32
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The Props assist the House (729)
The Props assist the House
Until the House is built
And then the Props withdraw
And adequate, erect,
The House support itself
And cease to recollect
The Augur and the Carpenter –
Just such a retrospect
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37
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The Bustle in a House (1108)
The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted opon Earth –

The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity –
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47
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“Hope” is the thing with feathers
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
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36
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It was not Death, for I stood up, (355)
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44
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Safe in their Alabaster Chambers (124)
Safe in their Alabaster Chambers -
Untouched by Morning -
and untouched by noon -
Sleep the meek members of the Resurrection,
Rafter of Satin and Roof of Stone -

Grand go the Years,
In the Crescent above them -
Worlds scoop their Arcs -
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37
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Surgeons must be very careful (156)
Surgeons must be very careful
When they take the knife!
Underneath their fine incisions
Stirs the Culprit - Life!
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34
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Wild nights - Wild nights! (269)
Wild nights - Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile - the winds -
To a Heart in port -
Done with the Compass -
Done with the Chart!
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39
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