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Burton, Annie L.
Memories of childhood's slavery days

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The old, old Wind that whispers to old trees,
Round the dark country when the sun has set,
Goes murmuring still of unremembered seas
And cities of the dead that men forget--

An old blind beggar-man, distained and gray,
With ancient tales to tell,
Mumbling of this and that upon his way,
Strange song and muttered spell--

Neither to East or West, or South or North,
His habitation lies,
This roofless vagabond who wanders forth
Aye under alien skies--

A gypsy of the air, he comes and goes
Between the tall trees and the shadowed grass,
And what he tells only the twilight knows ...
The tall trees and the twilight hear him pass.

To him the Dead stretch forth their strengthless hands,
He who campaigns in other climes than this,
He who is free of the Unshapen Lands,
The empty homes of Dis.

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