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18



IRLF



SB lib SDfl



1



OF THE
UNIVERSITY




A Pagan Anthology



Composed of

POEMS

By
CONTRIBUTORS

TO THE

PAGAN

MAGAZINE



Pagan Publishing Co. New York City



NOTE

The Poems in this volume are mainly of the

authors own choosing; some of them have

appeared in past issues of the Pagan



M609461



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



CONTENTS



EGMONT HEGEL ARENS

Blind

Twenty Blocks
Fear and Love
Remembrance

M. ALEXANDER
Sheerba Smoke

MAXWELL BODENHEIM

Soldiers
The Walk
Intrusion
To a Man

PAULINE CAHN
Rest

HART CRANE

October-November
Fear

ROUTLEDGE CURRY
An Orchid



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



MARY CAROLYN DAVIES

Ambition
"Also "



PAUL ELDRIDGE

When I am Dead
The Moon and The Ocean
You Were So Pure
The Forgetful Owls

MAX ENDICOFF

Lament Drolatique

To Whom?

At Twilight

The Young Officer

Tricked

ERNESTINE KARA
Modern Art

JOSEPH U. HARRIS

The Play

Crossing a Canal-Lock

The Street

Moths

Reincarnate

ELIZABETH JAEGER
Croak

LESLIE NELSON JENNINGS
Menage



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



ALICE LOUISE JONES
Baccante

JOSEPH KLING

Dedication

Portraits

Extase

Faculty-Parade

Farewell

Lux in Tenebris

Study in Reversion

GEORGES LEWYS
Burgundy

MARJORIE MUIR
A New England Town At Noon

EDWARD NAGLE
The Orange Room

RUTH CLAY PRICE

Fields

Anticipation

Strophe

Eyes

Dearest

Tramplers

Impressions

HELENE THURSTON

Sacrifice

Fear

Moonrise



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



WINIFRED WALDRON

Three Wash-Drawings
The Garbage Man
"Know Thyself.
Hokku

ZELLA MURIEL WRIGHT

Delice

May Moods

A Song

Songs of Creation



TRANSLATIONS

By EDNA W. UNDERWOOD

From the French of
Gabriel Soulages

The Painted Vase
Idleness.

By JOSEPH RUNG

From the French of
Fernand Gregh

The Stilled Voice

From the French of
(Author s name lost)

Confession

From the Jewish of
Moishe Nadir

Lines on the Death of MoisTie Nadir
Lines on Moishe Nadir Redivivus



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



From the Jewish of
Monnie Laib

Monody
Winter Rain

From the Jewish of
Ovro om Raisin

Fragment

From a Jewish Folk Song
Motif



6 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY

EGMONT HEGEL ARENS

/. Blind

II. Twenty Blocks

III. Fear and Love

IV. Remembrance



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



BLIND



Seeking God

I went to where men worship His name:

A lofty temple.

"Give us this day our daily bread !"

They whined

Fervently.

The sleek priest was thinking of his dinner with

wine after the sermon,
And the deacon was gloating over his neighbor s

wickedness,
And the bald-headed man up in front was thinking

of a pair of legs that belonged to a chorus girl,
And the pretty woman with the baby eyes was

thinking of nothing at all, singing hymns only

with her mouth,
And the ugly old lady with the hair-lip was hating

the beauty of her neighbor.

God didn t seem anywhere in evidence,

And I started away

Thinking to find Him in his old haunts

Down by the river

Where the whip-poor-will in the willow-tree

Sings :

"Love-us-Lord ! Love-us-Lord !"

But you can t keep God out

Even from churches. . . .

Up in the choir was a blind girl

Singing:

"Tho dark my way

Lead Thou me on!"



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



And where these were blind
I knew that she could see
The green pastures
And still waters.



TWENTY BLOCKS

The daughters of the rich

Go shopping on Thirty-fourth street :

They are sweet, round and succulent,

Nourished, firm-fleshed,

Dainty and expensive morsels

To glut desire

And deaden the spirit.

Down on Fourteenth street

There is a waitress in a restaurant,

Fresh-skinned and young-limbed,

With a gesture that speaks of nodding hill-flow rs

in summer.

For fifteen cents I order ham and eggs :
But she will bring me a vivifying draught
For my soul s quickening. . . .



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 9



FEAR AND LOVE

Fearing my father,

I sat still at table

When the boys came up the alley

Calling :

"Come out! Come out!"

And I hated the discipline

Which held me there

Foolishly.

Loving my mate,

I sat still at home

When Life came up the alley

Shouting :

"Come out ! Come out !"

And I hated the tenderness

Which held me there

Perhaps wisely.



REMEMBRANCE

It is holiday time in the woods,

And all the trees are to have new dresses

To welcome the Spring:

But the sombre pine,
In his old black clothes,
Sighs for the kiss
And the clinging love
Of winter s snow.



io PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



M. ALEXANDER

/. Sheerba Smoke



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY n

SHEERBA SMOKE

I.

On a gaudy rug,

To the accompaniment

Of crotali and clarinet,

Half-naked

Little brown-skinned ghawazi,

Dance

The dance of the wasp.

II.

An old Jewess,
With ravaged features
And massive legs,
Beckons to passing men.
Through the lattice windows
Pretty Levantine girls
Are seen
Lounging about.

III.

Spinning round and round,
Moaning and howling
To the shriek and rumble
Of barbaric music,
Fiendish and terrible
Dervishes dance.

IV.

Boats on the Nile. . . .

At sunset they resemble

Butterflies a-tremble on open flowers;

At night,

Sheeted phantoms

In the heart of a sapphire.



12 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



MAXWELL BODENHEIM

/. Soldiers

II. The Walk

III. Intrusion

IV. To a Man



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 13



SOLDIERS

They sprawl in the coffee-colored mud

As though they were its lovers, slowly kissing it,

But one long crescent of them, dipped in moonlight,

Like gray sparrows on whom silver bubbles end
lessly sputter,

Lies on the stubble of a little hill.

The smile of one face is like a fierce mermaid

Floating dead in a little pale brown pond.

The lips of one are twisted

To a hieroglyphic of silence

Bearing strands of froth woven by little death-
spiders.

The face of another is like a shining frog.

Another face is met by a question

That digs into it like sudden claws.

Beside it is a face like a mirror

In which a stiffened child dangles from a string. . . .

Dead soldiers, in a moon-dipped crescent,

Whose faces form a gravely mocking sentence.



THE WALK

A shadow-leaf parts between fingers ;

Its pieces swing upward and wind

About the shadowy, blowing, blue hair of the day,

But the day shakes them loose, and they shiver down

Like bits of fire that have dreamed themselves

cold ....

So our friendship, as we walk along,
Slipped from us, to form a far-off, gossamer beauty,
And came back to us, like a dream that wants to

sleep.



14 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



INTRUSION

The lilies sag with rain-drops. . . .

Their petals hold fire that does not break out,

(As though it slept between vapor-silk

It could not burn)

And a young breeze stumbles upon the lilies

And strokes them with his hands ....

The lilies and the young breeze are not unlike

Your silence and the mist of soft words breaking it..



TO A MAN

Like sea-foam dancing in the upward swing

Of whirling waves that heave against each other

Your silken thoughts tremble upward

Upon the tumbling passion of your life,

And die.

But when you bent, inviting a flower

To grace a corner of your mind,

The sea-foam stayed, and the waves disappeared



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 15



PAULINE CAHN v
/. Rest



16 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



REST

I am so tired so tired.
I see too many people,
Read too many books.
Do too many things.

I hate the theaters,

I hate my work,

I want you, only you. . . .

Come to me between the cool sheets

And let me burrow my head in your shoulder.

Kiss my two eyes. . . .

The moon is making peaceful patches on the yellow

coverlet;
The hoof-beats of my thoughts are growing faint.



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 17



HART CRANE



/. October-November
II. Fear



i8 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



OCTOBER-NOVEMBER.

Indian-summer-sun

With crimson feathers whips away the mists,

Dives through the filter of trellises

And gilds the silver on the blotched arbor-seats.

Now gold and purple scintillate

On trees that seem dancing

In delirium;

Then the moon

In a mad orange flare

Floods the grape-hung night.



FEAR.

The host, he says that all is well,

And the fire-wood glow is bright;

The food has a warm and tempting smell,

But on the window licks the night.

Pile on the logs. . . . Give me your hands,
Friends ! No, it is not fright. . . .
But hold me . . . somewhere I heard demands.
And on the window licks the night.



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 19



ROUTLEDGE CURRY

/. An Orchid



20 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



AN ORCHID.

The old mahogany fireplace

Had an ample cloth of dark green velvet

Over its mantlepiece.

On it

I placed a slender silver vase,
And filled it with a solitary orchid
Of rare beauty.

The peacock flower

Possessed a soft shy face,

And it rolled quaint scarlet kisses

To me

Down curious paths of lavender and gold,

Trailing its eager, graceful petals

To a point.



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



21



MARY CAROLINE DAVIES
/. Ambition
II. "Also"



22 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



AMBITION

The little fire

On the hearth

Dreaming of forests

Where it will

One day

Race and sing,

And we before it
Dreaming.



"ALSO."

Could that man ever have seen the stars,

That sacred historian who added,

As a careless afterthought,

Scrawling it down, perhaps, in the margin for

insertion,
"He made the stars also"?



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 23



PAUL ELDRIDGE

/. When I am Dead
II. The Moon and the Ocean

III. You Were so Pure

IV. The Forgetful Owls



24 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



WHEN I AM DEAD

I ll have no compromise,

No bargain-driving

With the gods.

And so,

When I am dead,

Let them not offer me

With oriental hospitality

Their Paradise.

Let not their angels

In cynical humility

Wash my feet with myrrh,

Anoint my head

With perfumed oils,

And flap their wings

Like silver castanets

In mocking merriment.

I ll have no dealings

With the gods

I ve known them too long,

And learned the cunning fashion

Of their arts.

And so,

When I am dead,

Let vulgar Earth

Absorb me with her kiss,

And clasp me tightly

With her rough unclean arms

Against her breast.

And when she wearies

Of my flesh and bones,

Let her crush me in her palms,

And render me

A blade of grass,

To dance a summer s day



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 25



And throw kisses

To the stars.

Alas, the gods are greedy,

And seek their profit,

They ll never give me peace,

When I am dead

They ll offer me

Most graciously,

Their Paradise. . . .,



26 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



THE MOON AND THE OCEAN



(To Sylvia)

The Moon,

The old roue,

Watches with desire

The Earth below.

The Ocean,

Prudish maid,

Hides her breasts,

Feverishly,

But the winds, laughing,

Blow off incessantly

Her flimsy draperies.

The Moon,

A golden hoop,

Rolls unsteadily

Upon the ragged edges

Of the shivering clouds.

The Ocean,

Mischievous girl,

Runs after

Her hands raised up

To catch it,

And shouts and laughs

In utter merriment.

The Moon

The painted mountebank

Of the infinite circus,

Grins and bows

To his celestial audience.

The Ocean,
A clumsy bear
Sways and dances



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 27



To the bagpipes
Of the merry winds.
The Moon,
The hoary recluse,
Gazes calmly
Across eternity,
And meditates
On Death.

The Ocean,

The Earth s demagogue,

Silver-tongued,

Harangues the winds,

Persuading them

To blow across the Moon

And blind him.



28 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



YOU WERE SO PURE



You were so pure,

So exquisite,

I feared to touch

Your little hand;

I feared to bend upon my knee,

And swear eternal passion.

You were so tender,

So like the bud

Of a fragile rose,

I dared not whisper,

"I love you,"

That for fear, like a coarse wind,

I might tear

The delicate petals ....

And so I walked away,
And wept my sorrow
Into my hands.

And now you re married

You gave a dowry,

And bargained cleverly

To be a wife.

I saw you hang upon his arm,

And look with amorous desire

Into his eyes,

While he was yawning.

And so, I walked away,
And laughed my sorrow
Into my hands.



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 29



THE FORGETFUL OWLS

Nightly,

Silence summons to herself

The Owls of the world,

And whispers in their feathered ears

The Truth of Things,

Which they promise

To repeat to Man

When he wakes.

But the Sun,

The hater of Truth,

Dazzles their round eyes,

And they fall asleep,

Andr dream

And forget. . .

And Man seeks
Seeks in vain
What only Silence
And the Owls know. . .



30 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



MAX ENDICOFF

I. Lament Drolatique
II. To Whom

III. At Twilight

IV. The Young Officer
V. Tricked



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 31



LAMENT DROLATIQUE



Death overtook her

Like a stealthy storm-cloud

Pouncing upon a scintillating sunbeam

And engulfing it within a stifling darkness.

It was but yesterday

That she lay in my arms. . . .

Her warm, moist lips were seeking mine,

Her soft round arms,

Like a noose of quivering satin,

Were twined about my neck,

And her dark, brooding eyes

Flooded the bleak and barren chambers of my heart

With the joyous light of love.

This thing ....

This thing, lying so frigid and inert

Upon the bare, unswept floor,

And draped in a shroud of melancholy black,

Once lived and loved.

Now, it means no more to me

Than that insignificant little fly

That crawls so unconcernedly

Upon the cold blanched forehead.

And the mourners,

With their raucous wails and forced tears,

Are splendid buffoons in a mock tragedy.

But why why

Are the chambers of my heart

More bleak and barren

Than ever. .



32 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



TO WHOM?

(Our losses were trivial, 728 killed and 4,354
wounded. European News Item.)

Trivial ?

To whom? TO WHOM?



Not to the dead,

Whose battered bodies

Are like the shapeless fragments of an image

Carelessly crushed by the wanton hand

Of a titanic malevolence.

In them, the lust of life

Flamed as sharp and clear

As in the wheezing breasts of the hounds

Who foam and whine

For the blood

They do not have to give.

Trivial ?

To whom? TO WHOM?

Not to the bereaved at home,

The tender women

Who make gods of the men they love

Their tear-scorched prayers

Are of passionate pity for the voiceless dead

And of baffled hatred for the boastful living.

Trivial ?

To whom? TO WHOM?

Not to the ferocious enemy,

For they too have their dead

The uncounted horde of startled beings,

That black treachery,

With artful and cunning words,



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 33



Had lured from the free and turbulent spaces of life

To the bleak, eternal confines

Of a hurried and undesired grave.

Trivial ?

To whom? TO WHOM?



AT TWILIGHT

A gentle peaceful gray

Steals over the sky

And rebukes the sun for his flamboyant gaiety

Until his head sinks beneath the western rim

A street lamp opens wide its yellow eye

The staccato stutter of traffic subsides

And is lost

In the uncanny silence

(As of a living thing suddenly touched by death)

That hangs over the earth for one brief moment.

It is that moment

When mankind is wont

To lower its weary arms,

Lift its drooping shoulders,

And listen devoutly

To the clangorous call of a church

Or to the questioning murmurs of its soul.

But this long long line of men,

With snarling bayonets aimed straight at the sky,

Never heed the voice of either.

Stolidly

They march, march, march

As if they were strange beings

Coming from some alien land

That knows of neither church nor soul.



34 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



THE YOUNG OFFICER

A supple speckless figure in costly habilements

With cloth-carved calves,
Severe, unbending, breadth of shoulder,
And the flippant insouciance
Of a service-cap

Tipped with diligent carelessness
To one side of the head ....
To this young untried recruit
The War

Must be a sartorial adventure,
A world- wide exhibition of the tailor s art.



TRICKED

We walked along the Avenue arm in arm

And I,

Who hoarded the beauty wrenched from life,

(Giving nought in return but sneers of mockery),

I, in a moment of wanton recklessness,

Opened wide the doors of this prized store-house

Filled with memories

That are like priceless jewels

Torn from the earth with crushed and bleeding

fingers.

She smiled gently, pressed my arm in sympathy,
And stopped before a garish shop-window
To admire a hat.



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 35



ERNESTINE HARA

/. Modern Art



36 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



MODERN ART

Arms awry

Legs astride . . .

This jumbled mass

Of humans

Sprawling

On the green.

What demons
Set them
^Rolling,
Stumbling,
Falling crazily
Over each other
Like a stupid mess
Of kittens
Rolling downhill
To a picnic? . . . .



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 37



JOSEPH U. HARRIS :



I. The Play

II. Crossing a Canal-Lock

III. The Street

IV. Moths

V Reincarnate



38 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



THE PLAY,

I watched you curve your arm over the back of

your companion s chair,
Sitting behind you in the crowded theatre,
Watched him, as the dull performance progressed,
Lean back until his head rested upon your arm.

I crushed my program in my hand until it was a

shapeless mass
Then dropped it on the floor listlessly.

The performance went on. I do not know whether
it was good or bad.

I only know that you sat with your arm over the
back of the seat in front of me, and that your
friend s head rested upon it lightly.

As I walked rapidly homeward my eyes were full

of tears.
But when they asked me about the play, I could not

remember.



CROSSING A CANAL - LOCK.

From this old canal-lock

The black water creeps out on either side.

There is not a glimmer of light in it; it might be the
Styx

The night hangs over it like crepe upon a door,

Warning away every happy face, every gay footstep.

High up the cliff gleam the lights of the dance-pa
vilion

The faint echo of violins a stray bit of laugh
ter

Now a single thread of light touches the water like a
ray of moonshine wandering over a corpse.



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 39



TO A PRIEST

I have listened to your profession of faith.

I have sat with your sorrowful flock and listened to
your expression of confident trust,

Your splendid reliance upon the blessed providence
of God, the Father,

Who "for a purpose" . . . has . . . "in His inscrut
able wisdom" . . . "permitted" every un
godly thing:

Who "has seen fit" ... to meddle with the incon
sequential maneuverings of all the ecclesiastics ;

Who has been a veritable village-gossip, with a
finger in every man s pie ;

Who directs battles. . . .

And I say to you:

O little meddler !

Come down from your little pulpit and take off your

little vestments ;
And leave your congregation to the holy ministry

of silence !
Who are you to proclaim the purposes of the

Infinite !
What manner of god is this that you have made in

your own image?



40 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



THE STREET



Who are you, walking the streets with me tonight?
Are you following me, or am I following you? Or

is each of us afraid of losing the other?
The street divides us.

From time to time you glance furtively across at me.
Twice now I have caught you, and there were

other times that I did not know.
From time to time my eyes follow you also. Maybe

you have caught me too.
Why do you walk so rapidly, as though you were

afraid to stop?

Listen ! I too am afraid to stop. I have been walk
ing through life this way. I do not know what

would happen if I did not keep on.
I wonder if you have always walked like this, with

quick, rapid strides, afraid to look behind you,

afraid to stop, even for an instant.
Couldn t we couldn t we stop, just for once?
I want to talk to you. I know that you could tell

me wonderful things.
And perhaps you would think the things I should

tell you were wonderful.
Let us stop, just this once. We are both so tired of

walking.
Let us stop now. See? I am going more slowly.

It is foolish to walk so fast.
Now now you are going to stop. We shall tell

each other wonderful things.
It is over it is over, this endless walking. We are

stopping, we are stopping. . . .

But you haven t stopped ! Where are you ? What

has happened? I cannot see you any longer.
O God ! I had forgotten ! The street is between us.



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 41



MOTHS

We flit about,

Dart in and out,

Like moths around a flame.

We singe our wings with whisperings

of cowardice and shame;
The hungry fire of our desire
Forever burns the same.
By passion spurred,
Hopes quickly stirred,
We flutter here and there.
On wings of fear we hover near
The lamps enticing glare,
Until the light is quenched in night,
Our longing in despair.
Through endless days,
In darkened ways,
We crawl with drooping wings.
Only at night we take delight
In airy wanderings ;
And then we seem to only dream
A thousand futile things.
So here and there,
And everywhere,
Our weary wings we ply.
The lights that lure are never sure,
They flare, burn now, and die.
Our only song is one of wrong,
And our only speech a sigh.



42 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



REINCARNATE

Somewhere my spirit, in the long ago, .

Communed with yours, or in some ancient land
I walked and talked with you. I have clasped
your hand

Before, somewhere, and in your eyes I know

That I have sometimes seen an answering glow
Of hope, and longing. (Do you understand?)
It seems as if in Time s eternal sand

Bright memory-grains illumined the dull flow

Of dead hours that make up futurity ;

And out of dreams that I have dreamed there rise
Visions of you which quell my discontent.

Almost I think rare moments we have spent
Together thrill me with a sweet surprise
As they troop back into my memory.



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 43



ELIZABETH JAEGER
/. Croak



44 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY

CROAK

When it darkens and rains
I am not anything human :
I am a frog.

I shelter myself under moss-covered stones,
Blink out at people,
Who passing leave such queer marks,
And say : "Damn the water
Damn the mud

Damn everything."
With relish I croak in my nook.



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 45



LESLIE NELSON JENNINGS
/. Menage



46 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



MENAGE

"Blinds down!" they cry,

Mouthing me ancient shibboleths.

They say: If one lived alone

It would be different.

But I cannot understand;

I will not hide my thoughts.

Let them be lithe girls,

Combing their hair

Perpetually ;

Let them be happy and idle

In their clear white muslin shifts.

There they stand

For all the world to see,

Graciously domestic.

Oh yes,

I know how this revolts them,

My neighbors who dwell in splendid,

empty houses ;
Because they are outraged,
Shall I also live in loneliness?

Let them say that I keep mistresses,

That I am shameless.

Nevertheless,

My windows shall remain

Open to the sky.



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 47



ALICE LOUISE JONES
/. Baccante



48 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



BACCANTE

I bathe in the lush of the moon;

Of her shadows I weave

From my breast to my knees a whole garment

To tantalize Pan!

My mouth has the red of the adder

With sharp teeth that sting

As they close on the mouth of another.

My breasts are like great pointed bubbles

Which the hands

Of some wood-god have fashioned.

I wait for the beat of Pan s hoofs

As he leaps

Pushing great hairy fingers to crumble the shoots

Of the vines and bushes that hide me:

Then

Spring I erect

Tossing glad swaying hands and bright shoulders,

A moment,

And then,

Fleet of foot, with wild laughter

I whirl and am gone.



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 49



JOSEPH KLING



/. Dedication
II. Portraits

III. Extase

IV. Faculty-Parade
V. Farewell

VI. Lux in Tenebris

VII. Study in Reversion



50 PAGAN ANTHOLOGY



DEDICATION

Madre dolorosa
O madre mia!

The heavy hand of Sorrow
Has bowed your head,
And the blighting breath of Care
Has withered your cheek;

Yet your soul s sweet light
Shines through its mist of tears
Like the beatific smile of Her
They call the Queen of Heaven,

O madre dolorosa,
Madre dolorosa mia!



PORTRAITS



I.



When my friend Don Juan
Has left his last love
He becomes gravely philosophi
Wonders why a man
Cannot help making love
To every pretty woman

That crosses his path

Berates himself harshly

For his wicked misdeeds,

Praises the virtues

Of honest married folk,

A happy home, loving wife,



PAGAN ANTHOLOGY 51



But reminds himself suddenly

Of a "pressing engagement" ;

Adjusts his cravat,

Smiles,

And departs

II,

Sweet half-conscous hypocrite,
Golden-haired, apple-cheeked,
Plaything of flattery,
Woman of women;
Grudgingly envious,
Hintingly slanderous,
Flirtingly philanderous ;
To be young,
To be tempting,
To be tempting
Without yielding,
The business of life



EXTASE

(A ma princesse lointaine)


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