Before life and after

        A time there was — as one may guess
And as, indeed, earth’s testimonies tell —
        Before the birth of consciousness,
               When all went well.

        None suffered sickness, love, or loss,
None knew regret, starved hope, or heart-burnings;
        None cared whatever crash or cross
               Brought wrack to things.

        If something ceased, no tongue bewailed,
If something winced and waned, no heart was wrung;
        If brightness dimmed, and dark prevailed,
               No sense was stung.

        But the disease of feeling germed,
And primal rightness took the tinct of wrong;
        Ere nescience shall be reaffirmed
               How long, how long?

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