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Alone! Alone! No beacon, far or near!

No chart, no compass, and no anchor stay!

Like melting fog the mirage melts away

In all-surrounding darkness, void and clear.

Drifting, I spread vain hands, and vainly peer

And vainly call for pilot, — weep and pray;

Beyond these limits not the faintest ray

Shows distant coast whereto the lost may steer.

O what is life, if we must hold it thus

As wind-blown sparks hold momentary fire?

What are these gifts without the larger boon?

O what is art, or wealth, or fame to us

Who scarce have time to know what we desire?

O what is love, if we must part so soon?

by Ada Cambridge

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