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HRLF




055



IRELAND
WITH OTHER POEMS.



-^IRELAND



WITH OTHER POEMS



BY



LIONEL JOHNSON




LONDON

ELKIN MATHEWS, VIGO STREET, W.

BOSTON: COPELAND AND DAY

1897



CHISWICK PRESS : CHARLES WHITTINGHAM AND CO.

TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE, LONDON.



/m



HIBERNIAE NITENTI

VICTORIAM OPTANS

SCRIPTOR.



M632846



+ CONTENTS.

IRELAND : P. I.
JULIAN AT ELEUSIS 1 P. 9.
DE AMICITIA : P. 15.
DAWN OF REVOLUTION : P. 1 9.

A DESCANT UPON THE LITANY OF LORETTO 1 P. 22.
OUR LADY OF. THE MAY : P. 24.
A DREAM I P. 26.

IN HONOREM B. V. M. DE WINTON MARTYRUMQUE
WICCAMICORUM I P. 29.

OXFORD: p. 31.

LONDON TOWN : P. 33.
CYHIRAETH : P. 36.
LAMB I P. 39.

SATANAS : P. 41.
TO MORFYDD DEAD I P. 42.
THE DARKNESS I P. 44.
CHRISTMAS : P. 45.
CAROLS : P. 51.

CHRISTMAS AND IRELAND I P. 52.

MAGIC : p. 54.

FRIENDS I P. 57.
INCENSE I P. 59.

TO PASSIONS: p. 61.
HUGO : P. 62.
CROMWELL : P. 64.
KINGS OF MEN : P. 66.
SONGS : p. 66.

NINETY-EIGHT : P. 67.
COMRADES : P. 69.
THE FAITH I P. 71.
SURSUM CORDA : P. 72.
A MEMORY : P. 73.
IN A WORKHOUSE : P. 74.

ix



PAX CHRISTI : P. 75.
WINCHESTER CLOSE : P. 76.
A STRANGER I P. 76.
DE PROFUNDIS : P. 77.
BEFORE THE CLOISTER : P. 78.
TO THE DEAD OF '98 : P. 79.
VINUM DAEMONUM : P. 80.
AN IDEAL I P. 8l.

HEDDON'S MOUTH : p. 82.

KNIGHT OF THE NORTH : P. 83.
DEAD I P. 84.

VESPERS : P. 85.
IESU COR : p. 86.

A DEATH : P. 87.
GRACE I P. 88.
AT ETON I P. 88.
THE SILENT : P. 89.

THE GLOOM : P. 90.
RIGHT AND MIGHT: P. 91.
THE SLEEP OF WILL : P. 92.
NIHILISM : P. 92.
THE RED MOON : P. 93.
COUNSEL : P. 94.
VICTORY : p. 95.

EVENING IN WALES I P. 95.
TIMON I P. 96.

UPON READING CERTAIN POEMS I P. 97.

GUARDIAN ANGELS I P. 98.

DOMINICA IN PALMIS : P. 99.

UNION : P. 99.

WESTWARD: p. 100.

COLLINS : P. 101.

TE MARTYRUM CANDID ATUS : P. I 01.

IN A COPY OF MR. GOSSE's IN RUSSET AND SILVER

P. 102.

CORNWALL : P. 103.

HAWKER OF MORWENSTOW *. P. 103.

MOTHER ANN: P. 104.

X



MUNSTER : A.D. 1534: P. 104.
DOCTOR MAJOR : P. 105.
QUISQUE SUOS MANES I P. IO6.
MASTERY : P. I O6.
FLOS FLORUM I P. 1 07.
CULVER CLIFF : P. lOJ.
PROPHETA GENTIUM : P. I08.
CHILD OF WAR 1 P. IOQ.
THE END : P. lOQ.
LATE LOVE : P. IIO.
OLD SILVER I P. IIO.

WINDERMERE: P. in.
JULY : p. 1 1 1.

AD PATRONUM I P. 112.

LOVE'S WAYS : p. 112.

CHANCES : P. 112.

SEASONS : p. 113.

CHALKHILL : P. 113.
WINCHESTER : P. 113.



POEMS



IRELAND.

To Mrs. Clement Shorter.

Si nhlifue fitern fui Iprutnlpm ; nhlidiiniii Jrti/r sJpvtfr/i ntfa.



ERRATUM.

Page 6, line 9, for " for their deep distress " read " in
the deeps of night."



w no wouldst tny cnnaren upon eartn surnce
For Paradise, and pure Hesperian rest j
Had not the violent and bitter fates

Burned up with fiery feet
The greenness of thy pastures ; had not hates,
Envies, and desolations, with fierce heat
Wasted thee, and consumed the land of grace,

Beauty's abiding place ;
And vexed with agony bright joy's retreat.

Swift at the word of the Eternal Will,
Upon thee the malign armed Angels came.
Flame was their winging, flame that laps thee still ;
And in the anger of their eyes was flame.

I B



POEMS



IRELAND.

To Mrs. Clement Shorter.

Si oblitusfuero tut lerusalem : oblivioni detur dexter a me a.

THY sorrow, and the sorrow of the sea,
Are sisters ^ the sad winds are of thy race :
The heart of melancholy beats in thee,
And the lamenting spirit haunts thy face,
Mournful and mighty Mother ! who art kin

To the ancient earth's first woe,
When holy Angels wept, beholding sin.
For not in penance do thy true tears flow,
Not thine the long transgression : at thy name,

We sorrow not with shame,
But proudly : for thy soul is as the snow.

Old as the sorrow for lost Paradise

Seems thine old sorrow : thou in the mild West,

Who wouldst thy children upon earth suffice

For Paradise, and pure Hesperian rest j

Had not the violent and bitter fates

Burned up with fiery feet
The greenness of thy pastures ; had not hates,
Envies, and desolations, with fierce heat
Wasted thee, and consumed the land of grace,

Beauty's abiding place ;
And vexed with agony bright joy's retreat.

Swift at the word of the Eternal Will,
Upon thee the malign armed Angels came.
Flame was their winging, flame that laps thee still ;
And in the anger of their eyes was flame.

i B



One was the Angel of the field of blood,

And one of lonelier death :
One saddened exiles on the ocean flood,
And famine followed on another's breath.
Angels of evil, with incessant sword,

Smote thee, O land adored !
And yet smite : for the Will of God so saith.

A severing and sundering they wrought,
A rending of the soul. They turned to tears
The laughter of thy waters : and they brought,
To sow upon thy fields, quick seed of fears ;
That brother should hate brother, and one roof

Shelter unkindly hearts ;
Friend from his ancient friendship hold aloof,
And comrades learn to play sad alien parts ;
Province from noble province dwell estranged,

And all old trusts be changed ;
And treason teach true men her impious arts.

But yet in their reluctant hands they bore
Laurel, and palm, and crown, and bay : an host,
Heartened by wrath and sorrow more and more,
Strove ever, giving up the mighty ghost;
The field well fought, the song well sung, for sake,

Mother! of thee alone:

Sorrow and wrath bade deathless courage wake,
And struck from burning harps a deathless tone.
With palm and laurel won, with crown and bay,

Went proudly down death's way
Children of Ireland, to their deathless throne.

Proud and sweet habitation of thy dead !
Throne upon throne, its thrones of sorrow filled ;
Prince on prince coming with triumphant tread,
All passion, save the love of Ireland, stilled.
By the forgetful waters they forget
Not thee, O Inisfail !



Upon thy fields their dreaming eyes are set,
They hear thy winds call ever through each vale.
Visions of victory exalt and thrill

Their hearts' whole hunger still:
High beats their longing for the living Gael.

Sarsfiefd is sad there with his last desire ;
FitzGerald mourns with Emmet; ancient chiefs
Dream on their saffron-mantled hosts, afire
Against the givers of their Mother's griefs.
Was it for nought, captain asks captain old,

Was it in vain, we fell f
Shall we have fallen like the leaves of ' gold.
And no green spring wake from the long dark spell?
Shall never a crown of summer fruitage come

From blood of martyrdom ?
Yet to our faith will we not say farewell !

There the white soul of Davis, there the worn,
Waste soul of Mangan, there the surging soul
Of Grattan, hunger for thy promised morn :
There the great legion of thy martyr roll,
Filled with the fames of seven hundred years,

Hunger to hear the voice,
Sweeter than marriage music in their ears,
That shall bid thee and all thy sons rejoice.
There bide the spirits, who for thee yet burn :

Ah ! might we but return,
And make once more for thee the martyr choice 1

No swordsmen are the Christians ! Oisin cried :

O Patrick! thine is but a little race.

Nay, ancient Oisin ! they have greatly died

In battle glory and with warrior grace.

Signed with the Cross, they conquered and they fell ;

Sons of the Cross, they stand :
The Prince of Peace loves righteous warfare well,
And loves thine armies, O our Holy Land !
3



The Lord of Hosts is with thee, and thine eyes

Shall see upon thee rise
His glory, and the blessing of His Hand.

Thou hast no fear : with immemorial pride,

Bright as when Oscar ran the morning glades;

The knightly Fenian hunters at his side,

The sunlight through green leaves glad on their blades ;

The heart in thee is full of joyous faith.

Not in the bitter dust

Thou crouchest, heeding what the coward saith :
But, radiant with an everlasting trust,
Hearest thine ancient rivers in their glee

Sing themselves on to sea,
Thy winds make melody: O joy most just !

Nay ! we insult thee not with tears, although
With thee we sorrow : not as for one dead
We mourn, for one in the cold earth laid low.
Still is the crown upon thy sovereign head,
Still is the sceptre within thy strong hand,

Still is the kingdom thine :
The armies of thy sons on thy command
Wait, and thy starry eyes through darkness shine.
Tears for the dear and dead ! For thee, All ball !

Unconquered Inisfail !
Tears for the lost: thou livest, O divine!

Thou passest not away : the sternest powers
Spoil not all beauty of thy face, nor mar
All peace of thy great heart, O pulse of ours !
The darkest cloud dims thee not all, O star!
Ancient and proud thy sorrows, and their might

That of the murmuring waves:
They hearten us to fight the unceasing fight,
Filled with the grace, that flows from holy graves.
Sons pass away, and thou hast sons as true

To fight the fight anew :
Thy welfare, all the gain their warfare craves.
4



Sweet Mother ! in what marvellous dear ways
Close to thine heart thou keepest all thine own !
Far off, they yet can consecrate their days
To thee, and on the swift winds westward blown,
Send thee the homage of their hearts, their vow

Of one most sacred care ;
To thee devote all passionate power, since thou
Vouchsafest them, O land of love ! to bear
Sorrow and joy with thee. Each far son thrills

Toward thy blue dreaming hills,
And longs to kiss thy feet upon them, Fair !

If death come swift upon me^ it will be

Because of the great love I bear the Gael !

So sang upon the separating sea

Columba, while his boat sped out of hail,

And all grew lonely. But some sons thou hast,

Whose is an heavier lot,
Close at thy side : they see thy torment last,
And all their will to help thee helps thee not.
Mother ! their grief, to look on thy dear face,

Worn with each weary trace
Of fresh woes, and of old woes unforgotf

And yet great spirits ride thy winds : thy ways
Are haunted and enchaunted evermore.
Thy children hear the voices of old days
In music of the sea upon thy shore,
In falling of the waters from thine hills,

In whispers of thy trees :
A glory from the things eternal fills
Their eyes, and at high noon thy people sees
Visions, and wonderful is all the air.

So upon earth they share
Eternity : they learn it at thy knees.

Eternal is our faith in thee : the sun

Shall sooner fall from Heaven, than from our lives

5



That faith ; and the great stars fade one by one,
Ere fade that light in which thy people strives.
Strong in the everlasting righteousness

Triumphs our faith : the fight
Hath holiest hosts to inspire it and to bless ;
Thy children lift true faces to the light.
Theirs are the visitations from on high,

Voices that call and cry :
Celestial comfort for their deep distress.

Charmed upon waters three, forlorn and cold,
The swans, Children of Lir, endured their doom :
From off their white wings flashed the morning gold,
And round their white wings closed the twilight gloom.
Yet on their stormy weird the Christian bell

Broke, and they stirred with dread:
The Coming of the Saints upon them fell ;
They woke to joy, and found their white wings fled.
And thou, in these last days, shalt thou not hear

A sound of sacred fear ?
God's bells shall ring, and all sad days be dead.

But desolate be the houses of thy foes :

Sorrow encompass them, and vehement wrath

Besiege them : be their hearts cold as the snows :

Let lamentation keen about their path.

The fires of God burn round them, and His night

Lie on their blinded eyes :
And when they call to the Eternal Light,
None shall make answer to their stricken cries.
Mercy and pity shall not know them more :

God shall shut to the door,
And close on them His everlasting skies.

How long ? Justice of Very God ! How long ?
The Isle of Sorrows from of old hath trod
The stony road of unremitting wrong,
The purple winepress of the wrath of God :
6



Is then the Isle of Destiny indeed

To grief predestinate;
Ever foredoomed to agonize and bleed,
Beneath the scourging of eternal fate ?
Yet against hope shall we still hope, and still

Beseech the Eternal Will :
Our lives to this one service dedicate.

Ah, tremble into passion, Harp ! and sing

War song, O Sword ! Fill the fair land, great Twain !

Wake all her heavy heart to triumphing :

To vengeance, and armed trampling of the plain !

And you, white spirits on the mountain wind,

Cry between eve and morn !
Cry, mighty Dead ! until the people find
Their souls a furnace of desire and scorn.
Call to the hosting upon Tara, call

The tribes of Eire all :
Trump of the Champions ! immemorial Horn !

Shall not the Three Waves thunder for their King,
The Captain of thy people ? Shall not streams
Leap from thy mountains' heart, and many a spring
Gladden thy valleys, for the joy of dreams
Fulfilled, for glory of the battle won ?

Hast thou no prophet left ?
Is all thy Druid wizardry undone,
And thou of thy foreknowledge quite bereft?
Nay ! but the power of faith is prophecy,

Vision, and certainty :
Faith, that hath walked the waves, and mountains cleft.

As haunting Tirnanoge within the sea,
So hid within the Eyes of God thy fate
Lies dreaming: and when God shall bid it be,
Ah, then the fair perfection of thy state !
Bravely the gold and silver bells shall chime,
When thou art wed with peace :
7



Far to the desert of their own sad clime

Shall fly the ill Angels, when God bids them cease.

Thine shall be only a majestic joy,

No evil can destroy :
The sorrows of thy soul shall have release.

Thy blood of martyrs to the martyrs' Home
Cries from the earth : the altar of high Heaven
Is by their cries besieged and overcome :
The Rainbow Throne and flaming Spirits Seven
Know well the music of that agony,

That surge of a long sigh,
That voice of an unresting misery,
That ardour of anguish unto the Most High.
Thou from thy wronged earth pleadest with the Just,

Whose loving-mercy must
Hear, and command thy death in life to die.

Golden allies are thine, bright souls of Saints,

Glad choirs of intercession for the Gael :

Their flame of prayer ascends, their stream of plaints

Flows to the wounded Feet, for Inisfail.

Victor, the Angel of thy Patrick, pleads ;

Mailed Michael with his sword
Kneels there, the champion of thy bitter needs,
Prince of the shining armies of the Lord :
And there, Star of the Morning and the Sea,

Mary pours prayer for thee :
And unto Mary be thy prayers outpoured.

ORose! OLlly! O Lady full of grace !
O Mary Mother ! O Mary Maid! hear thou.
Glory of Angels ! Pity y and turn thy face >,
Praying thy Son y even as we pray thee now^
For thy dear sake to set thine Ireland free :

Pray thou thy little Child!
Ah ! who can help her^ but in mercy He ?
Pray then, pray thou for Ireland, Mother mild!



O Heart of Mary! pray the Sacred Heart:

His^ at Whose word depart
Sorrows and bates y home to HeWs waste and wild.

1894.



JULIAN AT ELEUSIS.

To Edmund Gosse.

THERE lay Eleusis, there : O reverend haunt,
Eleusis, highly favoured ! whom the seas
Crown, that once rang with Salaminian shouts
Upon Eleusis' day, when Asia filled
Athens, and all her coasts : the seas, that once
When crouching Sparta hung in clouds of war
On Deceleia, down their glad tide bare
Thine else forgone processions : till in arms
Came godsped Alcibiades, and brought
Safely thy pomps along thine Holy Way,
Athens' true servant, then ! Thou, who dost lie
From her, the world's chief wonder, separate
By that sweet Sacred Way of roses, lit
With torches tossing in the mystic chace
Through odorous incense clouds ! Eleusis, thou
In majesty, in fearfulness, in awe,
Greater than Delphic or than Delian fanes,
Fallen Solyma, or Rome before false gods
Fallen from that high state, she had ! But thou
Livest among the immortal mysteries,
Though men have lost thy secret. So our road
Was lonelier than the ancient days beheld
Their Eleusinian companies : for once,
Upon the first morn of the nine days' feast,
In Boedromion beautiful with sheaves,
To Athens flocked the mystics. Then the cry,
Seaward ! Seaward ! O mystics / bade them wash
From soil and stain in the clear waters ; next,
Together having shared sweet honey cakes,
9



Wended the first procession, round the car

That bore the basket of symbolic fruits,

Poppy seed with pomegranate : in chaste hands

Followed the sacred arks. On thee they cried,

Demeter! Mother of the fruits of earth !

Yet not by that bland name they hailed thee^then :

Lady of Sorrow ! Heavy-hearted ^jieen !

Cried they, remembering thy loneliness,

And lost Persephone. But when night fell,

With faces flashing beneath forest brands,

They sought Persephone along the shores,

While murmured all the sea. Then, chiefest rite,

Lord of the fiery and devouring vine,

lacchus, myrtle-coronalled, came forth

From Ceramicus : westward charioted

By thunders of a marching multitude,

And clangour of sonorous bronze. Men plead :

Christ hallows poverty, the Gods cared nought.

Nay ! rich with poor one company, on foot

Equal procession kept and equal love.

Unto Demeter's temple vast they came,

Past bridge and holy figtree : at midnight,

Through lustral waters purified, they passed

Within the veil; led by the hierophant,

His body chilled with hemlock, that the fires

Of passion should be hushed, still be his soul.

Without, the hosts of heaven were watching : there,

The dark, that once brooded upon the deep,

Ere any light was, heavy hung : and death,

Mystical death reigned in the vasty air,

And in that world was silence; save each heart

Trembled, each labouring heart and fearful soul.

Then from the ends of earth, sweeping the seas,

Fields, footless mountain tops, and lonely moors,

Wave upon wave of sound gathered : a moan,

Dreary as the thin voice of a forlorn wind

Through Daphne drifting down, fitful and slow;

Soon swelling to the full voice of a sea



Roaring beneath wild winds; till on their fear,

With apparition of the Sacred Corn

And awefulness of imaged history,

Smote the great storm of sound from vault to floor,

Smote : and resigned again to silent gloom

The air of adoration : mighty deep

Shuddered to deep of darkness, under God.

Then on their eyes fast sealed, their dreading ears,

Thunder with flame broke through the san&uary :

And through the thunder, voices; through the flame,

Visions : and in the vision and the voice,

God's light, and the whole melody of God.

Not with the glory of such rites have I

Put on the spirit of Eleusis : yet,

A little company although we be,

Ours are the mysteries ; we also mount

With ancient prophets the mysterious way.

Beyond the shadowy threshold and gray bounds

Of purblind life I looked : then I beheld

Death's province peopled proudly! O great Death,

Imperial, perdurable, Ancient of Days !

O Death, Master of mortals ! But they passed,

His people, through the limits of that realm,

And places purgatorial, till their brows

Shone ; and light fell upon them in fair Fields.

Tellus was there, who by Eleusis died,

And with divine simplicity dethroned

The Lydian's pompous fortune : there he reigned,

Italy's ancient prince, Pythagoras :

And Plato, lost in immortality.

Chance and change; chance and change ! strange chance,

hard change:

These fashion what I know, and mourning know.
Still am I faithful to the lonely faith.
Dreaming, alone and melancholy here,
In Antioch of the Christians ; would I saw



Hymettus now, and purple lights of morn :

Apollo leap above Acropolis,

And strike the shrines with gold ! They are not here,

They are not mine, who there of old were mine,

Basil and Nazianzen : mighty tongues,

But mighty against all most dear to me.

A peasant has them captive : and the world,

Rome and the world bow down to Nazareth.

I only serve you, royal Gods ! I still :

With body's peril, soul's distress, I still.

Would I had lived at morning of the world !

With music caught down from the Sun rang out

The lyres and chaunts of those rejoicing men :

Apollo was a glory on the heights !

Can his day dawn again ? O faith most fair !

I doubt not thee. When these ill days are done,

Glad will the cities be once more, with fires

Of sacrifice, and gleaming forms divine ;

Fair, as the fair perfection signified :

One great civility of Gods and men,

Calm Gods, and men serenely serving them.

Then to Eleusis would I bring again

Her desolate veneration : setting up

Temple and courts, girt with the sacred bay,

With laurel, and the comely olive branch :

And wisdom from the books of stone once more

Should nourish pure souls, and illuminate.

So, from the ruddy desert East, to her,

The bright Parisian city of my care,

Julian should be remembered by the Gods,

Their servant universal. O far dreams !

far dreams, far beyond these weary eyes !

1 shall do nothing : since the first king was,
Wisdom's crowned lover has the world not seen.
Nay! not one sceptred Caesar of them all,

Not grave Aurelius, whom I thought of old
To follow, but has fallen short therein :
Crossed by the grievous troubling of the world.



Yet nothing of your praise have I not paid,

Lords of Olympus ! When the great Sun shines,

I am Apollo's priest : hers too I am,

The Mighty Mother, who from land to land

Moves with supreme and battlemented brows.

The robe of her anointing, hangs it not,

Tarnished and worn, upon my shoulder yet;

This robe, still dreadful with the bull's black blood ?

The citizens of Antioch scorn my state :

The purple-born, a scholar ! the world's king,

Hid in the cloak of sad philosophy.

O servants of a vain and distraught man,

111 taken for a god : is that your pride ?

I, who am Caesar; Caesar's too, these rags;

With a more proud humility disdain,

O Christians ! your imperial show and sin;

For I am votarist of Gods, who wore

Man's true flesh never : nor myself have worn

Man's empty shadows of magnificence,

But am the lover of magnificent Gods.

Wondrous Antinous ! Oh, fairer thou

Than the dim beauty of Christ crucified;

Thee too among the Everlasting Ones,

With Eleusinian feast, have I adored.

Beneath the vast night in old Egypt thou

Gavest thyself for Hadrian : neither foul,

Nor any slave's death, was thy death ; for Nile

Took thee. Then in the heavens burned one more star,

And earth reddened with unknown lily flowers,

O consecrate and fair ! for joy of thee.

Now am I votarist of thine, as I

Of each magnificent and marvellous God.

In their high converse only is my trust.
Through the dim German forests have I marched,
Prince of the Roman eagles, Mars my lord,
As in the triumphing days of Rome : Mars grant,
That through these oriental empires Rome
'3



Triumph ! And Mars will grant it, even as thou

Foretellest me great glory, Maximus !

A golden presage : "Julian shall increase^

Till Alexander be less great a name.

Once with tumultuary voice of power,

August ! the Legions hailed me : me they bore,

In mail and purple, vehemently crowned

Their monarch, and the world's : who one day yet

May clash their swords through mine unarmoured breast.

But none can take from me the treasure : none

Mine adoration of Divinity.

Caverns of haunted Ephesus ! Your gloom,

Sweet with the dreamy incense, showed my youth

Its earliest of mysterious ways : whenceforth,

Up mounting, brightening, labyrinths I traced

Mine homeward journey to the eternal Light :

Till at Eleusis, as I strove to it,

The perfect benediction fell. And now,

When the abhorrent voices crowd on me,

Christian with Christian warring, all with truth,

Retired within the secret chambers, there

Eleusis comforts me : I know and live.

The earth has yet her holy motherhood :

The earth has honour yet, and honours some,

True children of her heart, and of the Sun ;

True masters of the mysteries, who walk

Surely and nobly the vast world, its kings :

Lords of the laws, that bind the Pleiades,

And order the outgoings of the morn.

O kingly prophet of the golden thigh !

mighty Samian master ! Thy mild hand
Stroked in Crotona the white eagle : thou
Wast tamer of man's heart, the wild beast there !

1 too, whom nations through the world revere,
Nor suffer me from old Lucretius' height
Contemplate the laborious march of men,

But draw me downward to their wants : I too
Salvation through the terrible midnight



Have seen, lapped round with glory. So my soul,
Up to the golden air in welcome death
Passing, shall fall within the calms of God.
Yet not alone : thou too shalt pass with me,
Brother and friend upon that last of ways,
Divinest of all living men : mine own
Lover and counsellor, lamblichus!


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