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    Birth and Death


By Muriel Stuart

Here in a quiet and dusty room they lie,
Faded as crumbled stone or shifting sand,
Forlorn as ashes, shrivelled, scentless, dry —
Meadows and gardens running through my hand.

In this brown husk a dale of hawthorn dreams,
A cedar in this narrow cell is thrust:
It will drink deeply of a century’s streams,
These lilies shall make summer on, my dust.

Here in their safe and simple house of death,
Sealed in their shells a million roses leap:
Here I can blow a garden with my breath,
And in my hand a forest lies asleep.


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