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Changes by Emma Lazarus

All things resume their wonted look and place,

Day unto day shows beauty, night to night:

No whit less fresh and fugitive a grace

Marks the transitions of the swift year's flight;

But, gradual, sure and strange,

Throughout our being hath been wrought a change.

Brief while ago the first soft day of spring

A personal, fair fortune seemed to be;

The soul awoke with earth's awakening,

With Nature bound in closest sympathy;

Sunshine or quiet rain

Could soothe life's pulse or make it leap again.

Now, stripped of all illusive veil or haze,

Each object looms remote, distinct, apart:

We know its worth, its limits, weight and ways;

It is no longer one with our own heart;

No answering ecstasy

Is roused in us by earth or sea or sky.

Who will affirm this brave display is real,

When on a radiant morn the doom is sent

That rends our world asunder, and we feel

The dear, familiar earth, the firmament,

All forms that meet the eye,

An insubstantial, vacant mockery?

A cobweb world of thin, transparent shapes,

Though limp as silk, the magic woof proves wrought

Stronger than steel: no outlets, no escapes

Ope to the struggling spirit, trapped and caught.

Prisoned in walls of glass,

She sees beyond them, but she may not pass.

Though comfort grows thereafter, nevermore

The bond then snapped, the passionate young faith,

Can healing years with all their gifts restore.

From Psyche's wings life's rude and careless breath

Hath dashed the purple dust,

And with it died the rapture and the trust.