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The Collected Poems
of Thomas O'Hagan



BOOKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR



A Gate of Flowers.

In Dreamland.

Songs of the Settlement.

In the Heart of the Meadow.

Songs of Heroic Days.

Studies in Poetry.

Canadian Essays.

Chats By the Fireside.

Essays Literary Critical and Historical.

Essays on Catholic Life.




THOMAS O'HAGAN



The Collected Poems
of Thomas O'Hagan



McCLELLAND & STEWART
PUBLISHERS - - - TORONTO



COPYRIGHT, CANADA, 1922

By MCCLELLAND & STEWART. LIMITED. TORONTO



PRINTED IN CANADA



TO

THE MEMORY OF
MY MOTHER






CONTENTS

PAGE
AN APPRECIATION BY VERY REV. W. R. HARRIS,

D.D.,LiTT. D.L.L.D ... xi
LETTER FROM HON. JUSTICE LONGLEY, D.C.L.,

F.R.S.C. .... xv

AUTHOR'S PREFACE ... ix

PROEM MY IDOL . .... 3

POEMS OF CANADIAN PATRIOTISM

WE'RE ALL CANADIANS . . . 7

THE MAPLE AND SHAMROCK . 8

OUR OWN DEAR LAND . . 10

A SONG OF CANADIAN RIVERS . . . 11

MY NATIVE LAND. . . 12

HEROES . . . 14

OUR DEATHLESS DEAD . . 17

AN ODE TO THE NEW YEAR . 20

UNDER THE NORTHERN STAR . 12

POEMS OF LOVE AND AFFECTION

THE TIDE OF LOVE . . 25

THE SONG MY MOTHER SINGS . 26

LOVE'S TRYSTING PLACE . . 28

FACE TO FACE .... 29

TOKENS ..... 30

POEMS OF THE SETTLEMENT

THE DANCE AT MCDOUGALL'S . 33

AN IDYLL OF THE FARM . . 35

THE OLD PIONEER . . 38

A DIRGE OF THE SETTLEMENT . 40

THE OLD LOG COTTAGE SCHOOL . 42

THE FRECKLED BOY AT SCHOOL . 44

THE OLD BRINDLE Cow . . 46

A LULLABY OF THE SETTLEMENT 48



vn



RELIGIOUS POEMS

PAGE

THE CHRIST CHILD . . 51

RESURREXIT SICUT DIXIT . . 52

A CHRISTMAS CHANT . . 53

AT THE TOMB . . . 56

BETHLEHEM . . . 57

A SONG OF THE STARS . . 58

THE BABE OF BETHLEHEM . . 59

AVE MARIA OF THE BATTLEFIELD . 60

CHRISTMAS MORN. . . 61

IRISH PATRIOTIC POEMS

ERIN MACHREE . . . 65

IRELAND IN 1880 . . . 67

DERMOT ASTHORE. . . 69

MEN OF ERIN, GIRD FOR BATTLE . . 71

THE CRY OF IRELAND . . 73

THE ALTAR OF OUR RACE . . . . 76

A JUBILEE ODE (1887) . . 77

GROSSE ISLE . . . 80

A DREAM OF ERIN . . 82

A MESSAGE TO ERIN . . 84

RECONCILED . . . . 85

POEMS OF HEROIC DAYS

I TAKE OFF MY HAT TO ALBERT . 89

IN THE TRENCHES. . . 90

MOTHERS . . . 91

LOUVAIN . . . . . . 92

LANGEMARCK . . . 93

THE BUGLE CALL . . . 94

THE CHRISM OF KINGS . . 95

SONG OF THE ZEPPELIN . . 96

GATHER THE HARVEST . . 97

GOD'S NEW YEAR'S GIFT . . 98

AT VIMY RIDGE 99



Vlll



ELEGIES

PAGE

A WARRIOR OF THE CROSS . . 103

"Boss" OF KANDAHAR . . . 104

IN MEMORIAM . .... 105

A KNIGHT OF GOD . . . 106

THE BURIAL OF A POET . . . . 107

TEARS OF THE MAPLE . . . 108

IN MEMORIAM . .... 113
FATHER McCANN . . .114

IN MEMORIAM . . . 115

IN MEMORIAM . .... 116

IN MEMORIAM . . . 118

IN MEMORIAM . . . 119

AVE ATQUE VALE . . . 120

THE SILENT LISTS. . . 121

THE DEAD LEADER . . . . 122

DR. ROBERT JOSEPH DWYER . . . 123



COMMEMORATIVE POEMS

MOORE CENTENARY ODE . . 127

PROFECTURI SALUTAMUS . . . 130

MEMOR ET FIDELIS . . . 133

WELCOME, T. D. SULLIVAN . . . 137

THE TWILIGHT OF THE CROSS . . .141

DETROIT 17011901 . . . 143

VESTIGIA RETRORSUM . . . 144

A GOLDEN VISION . . . . 146

THE COLUMBUS MEMORIAL . . . 148

SALVE ALMA MATER . . . . 149

ECCE MAGNUS SACERDOS . . . 150

JOY AMONG THE ANGELS . . . 151



IX



POEMS OF MEMORY, MEDITATION AND
FANCY

PAGE

IN THE HEART OF THE MEADOW . . . 155

REVERIE . . .... 156

IN DREAMLAND . . . . . 158

FORSAN HAEC MEMINISSE JUVABIT . . 159

MEMORY'S URN . .... 160

RIPENED FRUIT . .... 162

NOVEMBER .. .... 164

Two WORKERS . . . . . 165

IN LOWLY VALLEY . . 166

JUNE is COMING . .... 167

AN INVITATION . . ... 168

WOMAN . . . . 169

LIFE AND DEATH . .... 170

GIOTTO'S CAMPANILE . . . 171

Two ROSES . . . . 173

THE DAWNING OF THE DAY . . .175

THE FUNERAL BELL . . 177

MY PATH 178



AUTHOR'S PREFACE

The collected poems in this volume comprise the chief
poetic work of the author, and witness to the spirit and
character of his muse, in its happiest moments of in-
spiration.

Poetry should reflect, as in a crystal mirror, the soul
of the writer, and its aim should be to delight and exalt.
Not Philosophy, but Beauty and Truth, yea and
Simplicity crowning this Beauty and Truth are the true
vestal virgins of verse that should ever preside over the
fires of poetic inspiration.

It will be observed that the poems have been class-
ified not however rigidly the better to mark the pre-
vailing themes that have, at different times, received
poetic treatment at the hands of the writer.

If poetry be the splendor of truth, this volume re-
flects, in some measure, the higher and more cherished
spiritual truths, in the life of the author.



XI



AN APPRECIATION

The day is happily past when any book written by Dr. O'
Hagan needs to be introduced to the reading public, or his place
in our literature asserted. Everyone, then, who reads current
poetry, will hail with delight the publication of this volume of
the collected poems of the author.

As an essayist and poet we consider that Thomas O'Hagan
stands in the very first rank of Canadian authors. In this,
his latest publication, the Doctor presents us with the poems he
has written during the thirty or thirty-five years that have passed,
since he became known to Canadian readers of poetry. In-
cluded in this treasured volume are nearly all the poems that
have appeared in his Gate of Flowers, In Dreamland,
Songs of the Settlement, In the Heart of the Meadow, and
in his Songs of Heroic Days, together with a goodly number
of poems that have never yet appeared in book form.

As a poet, Dr. O'Hagan was fortunate in winning at the very
inception of his poetic work, the praise and commendation of
many of the most illustrious literati of our day. When his
Gate of Flowers, his first book of poems, appeared more than
thirty years ago, it received the recognition of the American
poet, John G. Whittier, and the Canadian poets, Charles G. D.
Roberts, Dr. Louis Frechette and Pamphile Lemay. Roberts
wrote: "Mr. O'Hagan seems to possess that ear for melody
which never fails the charming poets of his race." And the
Quaker poet, Whittier expressed himself as much pleased with
the author's fine spiritual poem, " A Christmas Chant." From
Dublin, Ireland, came the commendation of the Irish litter-
ateur, Katharine Tynan Hinkson, who wrote: "Mr. O'Hagan's
poetry possesses Irish sweetness and melody."

The lamented Nicholas Flood Davin, poet, journalist and

xHi



parliamentarian,, wrote Dr. O'Hagan, after his poem ''Ireland
in 1880" had appeared in the Canadian Monthly : "I cannot .deny
myself the pleasure of telling you what I think of these verses.
They are instinct with true inspiration, and should have, for
all time, a place in Irish literature." And when in 1893, Dr.
O'Hagan's volume of poems In Dreamland was published,
the late Charles Dudley Warner, the eminent American critic
and essayist, commended the author's poems on Ireland for
"their fire, lyric spirit and fine melody."

There are two forms of poetry in which the genius of Dr.
O'Hagan appears to excel; indeed we doubt if any Canadian
poet surpasses him in these two: the elegy and the commem-
orative poem. His lines on the death of Sir John Thompson,
bearing the title "Tears of the Maple" and his commemorative
poems, "The Moore Centenary Ode." "The Twilight of the
Cross," and "Vestigia Retrorsum," the latter read at the cele-
bration of the golden jubilee of St. Michael's College, Toronto
are splendid examples of his supremacy as an elegiac and
commemorative poet. Nor should we fail to record the ardent
note of patriotism which marks his Canadian patriotic poems.
In many of his "Poems of the Settlement," you get the very
atmosphere of pioneer days ; and you seem to hear the lowing of
the cattle, and that hushed sound of light breezes, among the
pines and maples, soothing as the voice of lapping waters.

Dr. O'Hagan and Isabella Valancy Crawford are the two
Canadian poets who have dealt with the simple themes of
pioneer life on a farm. The reader will not faiil also to observe
that the technique and rhythm in such poems as "The Song My
Mother Sings," "Grosse Isle," "Bobs of Kandahar," and "A
Song of Canadian Rivers," are exceptionally fine.

It is clearly evident that the author has had, as his constant
aim, the desire to give to his Canadian readers his best inter-
pretation of the life of their country. He endeavors to paint
that life with an artistry that does full justice to his theme.
While limning the surface of things, our author never fails to
describe the spiritual values that lie beneath. He belongs to



xiv



the few who in every generation feel that poetry is a great art,
a high calling ; and with this feeling he presses undeviatingly
towards developing the best that is in him.

Dr. O'Hagan writes with a clear eye, a sane mind, and a
sensitive heart. While agreeing in the main with Walter de
la Mare, that "every book lives or perishes by virtue or default
of its artistic sincerity," we feel disposed to add that the per-
sonality of the author has much to do with the popularity and
life of his book. The fine personality of Thomas O'Hagan
enters into all his literary work, particularly his poems, which are
marked by a depth of feeling expressed with rare delicacy and
lyric grace. There is in them a spirit of serenity and tenderness,
a wise restraint and an admirable naturalness, in thought and
expression. It was this which led the New York Independent
to say, when reviewing one of the author's volumes: "Here is
a poet who writes verse without putting on airs/'

While, too, we have usually to wait for a later generation
than that of the author to determine his place in literature, or
to estimate rightly his value, we are qudte certain that we are
safe in saying that Dr. O'Hagan has already won a distinctive
place in Canadian letters, and that this collected volume of
his poems will be received and regarded as a most valuable
addition to our Canadian literature.

W. R. HARRIS.



Toronto, January 25, 1922.



xv



FROM HON. JUSTICE LONGLEY, D. C. L,., LL. D.,
Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Halifax, Nova Scotia.
November 10, 1921

My dear Doctor O'Hagan :

I cannot express to you how delighted I am to learn
that it is your intention to bring out a complete edition
of all your exquisite poems.

You know how much I admired the different volumes
which you have, from time to time, published, to one of
which, In the Heart of the Meadow, you were kind
enough to ask me to contribute the Foreword.

I expressed then, and desire to reiterate now, my sense
of your poems being marked by rare beauty, purity and
simplicity ; differing in this respect from the bulk of the
poetry of our day, which is so abstract and difficult to
comprehend.

I trust that your venture will meet with success. The
public are not now in a mood to devote much of their
attention to poetry ; but you have faith that this will only
add to your triumph.

Yours most sincerely,
J. W.



xvi



The Collected Poems
of Thomas O'Hagan



PROEM.

HEARTS oft bow before strange idols,
Strength of power and breath of fame.
And forgetful of life's morning
Dream of noontide's gilded name;
But the idol that I cherish
Knows no glory e'en in part
'Tis the simple faith of childhood
Long grown strong within my heart.

In the darkest hour of trial,
When each star has veiled its face,
Turn I fondly to my idol,
Full of heavenly light and grace;
Then my step grows firm and steady
Down the mystic path of night,
For the simple faith of childhood
Guides me, leads me ever right.



POEMS OF CANADIAN PATRIOTISM



WE'RE ALL CANADIANS.

WE are brothers to the mountains and the sea ;
The prairies are our playground wide and
free;

Our birthright is a nation, fashioned by God's hand,
And the charter of our freedom is the aegis of our

land
For we're all Canadians !

Latin, Saxon, Celt and Norman let each reign;
Plant each seed of racial splendor sift the grain ;
In the furrows traced by time,
Ours will be a race sublime
For we're all Canadians !

Light of star shall guide our bark,
Through the mazes of the dark ;
And the sun shall kiss our sails in the morn
As we put to port, a Nation newly born
For we're all Canadians !



.THE MAPLE AND SHAMROCK.

LET'S sing of the Maple, the broad gen'rous
Maple,
A type of our Country, fair, lovely and free.
And with it entwine in couplets the Shamrock,
An emblem of union, bright symbol of three;
In joyous orison let each bounding river
Proclaim, as it rolls its bright wave to the sea,
That liberty, peace and patriot devotion
Will flourish where Maple and Shamrock agree.

Hail, then, broad-leaf 'd Maple, fair type of our country,
May Canada's sons grow as stalwart as thee,
And with the same vigor bud forth into manhood,
Bright forest of greatness, in one mighty tree;
May virtue ennoble each deed of our country,
In letters of gold be emblazonM her name,
Towering up like the Maple, yet humble as Shamrock,
An aegis of safety, a triumph of fame.

Yes, this be the grandeur we seek for our country,
Let virtues be nobles and toil be our King;
The axe of the woodsman while smiting the forest,
In bold proclamation our greatness shall ring
Shall echo the accent of Canada's future,
In paean of labor, in triumph of song,
And the grace notes of progress that greet our Do-
minion
Proclaim that the Maple and Shamrock are one.



8



Then weave in one garland the Maple and Shamrock,
A nation's sweet incense breathe fragrance around ;
The pulse of our country shall quicken its paces,
As quicken the measures of freedom's bright sound.
May the dove of true peace wing its way o'er the

country,

Our people grow great in the sunshine of prayer,
And Maple and Shamrock, resplendent in beauty,
Embalm, with sweet incense, loved Canada fair !



OUR OWN DEAR LAND.

OUR own dear land of Maple Leaf,
So full of hope and splendor,
With skies that smile on rivers wide,
And lend them charms so tender;
From east to west in loud acclaim
We'll sing your praise and story,
While with a faith and purpose true
We'll guard your future glory,
Our own dear land !

Your flag shall ever be our trust,

Your temple our devotion;
By every lip your paean be sung

From ocean unto ocean ;
The star that lights your glorious path,

We'll hail with rapture holy,
And every gift of heart and hand

Be yours forever solely,
Our own dear land !



10



A SONG OF CANADIAN RIVERS.

FLOW on, noble rivers ! Flow on, flow on,
In your beauteous course to the sea!
Sweep on, noble rivers ! Sweep on, sweep on,

Bright emblems of true liberty !
Roll noiselessly on a tide of bright song,

Roll happily, grandly and free;
Sweep over each plain in silv'ry-tongued strain,
Sweep down to the deep sounding sea !

Flow on, noble rivers ! Flow on, flow on,

Flow swiftly and smoothly and free !
Chant loudly and grand the notes of our land

Fair Canada's true minstrelsy.
Roll joyously on, sweep proudly along,

In mirthfulest accents of glee !
Flow on, noble rivers ! Flow on, flow on,

Flow down to the deep-sounding sea !

Flow on, sw ; eep on, sweep on, flow on,

In a measureless, mystical key !
Each note that you wake on streamlet and lake

Will blend with the song of the sea.
Through labyrinth-clad dell, in dreamy-like spell,

Where slumbers each sentinel tree,
Flow on, noble rivers ! Flow on, flow on,

Flow down to the deep-sounding sea!



11



MY NATIVE LAND.

MY native land, how dear to me
The sunshine of your glory !
How dear to me your deeds of fame,
Embalm'd in verse and story !
From east to west, from north to south,

In accents pure and tender,
Let's sing in lays of joyous praise
Your happy homes of splendor.
Dear native land !

Across the centuries of the past,

With hearts of fond devotion,
We trace the white sails of your line

Through crest'd wave of ocean;
And every man of every race

Whose heart has shaped your glory
Shall win from us a homage true

In gift of song and story.
My native land !

O let not petty strife e'er mar

The bright dawn of your morning,
Nor bigot word of demagogue

Create untimely warning!
Deep in our hearts let justice reign

A justice broad and holy
That knows no creed nor race nor tongue,

But our Dominion solely.
Dear native land !

12



Dear native land, we are but one

From ocean unto ocean ;
"The sun that tints the Maple Leaf"

Smiles with a like devotion
On Stadacona's fortress height,

On Grand-Pre's storied valley,
And that famed tide whose peaceful shore

Was rock'd in battle sally.
My native land!

Here will we plant each virtue rare,

And watch it bud and flourish
From sunny France and Scotia's hills

Kind dews will feed and nourish;
And Erin's heart of throbbing love,

So warm, so true and tender,
Will cheer our hearths and cheer our homes

With wealth of lyric splendor.
Dear native land!

Dear native land, on this New Year

We pray you ne'er may falter ;
That patriot sons may feed the flames

That burn upon your altar.
May Heaven stoop down upon each home,

And bless in love our people,
And ring thro' hearts, both rich and poor,

Sweet peace from heav'nly steeple.
My native land!



13



HEROES.

A POEM READ AT THE CANADIAN CLUB BANQUET IN
HAMILTON, ONTARIO, APRIL, 1894.

OUR land is dower'd with glory
From the east unto the west,
With rays of ripen'd splendor
That cluster on her breast ;
But the stars that beam out brighest,

And shall burn to the last,
Are the deeds that light our fathers' graves
The heroes of the past.

O brothers, ye who gather round

This festive board to-night,
Whose hearts are timed to patriot words

That glow with love and light!
Recall with me the years gone by

Full well ye know their life
When patriots stood to guard our homes

In dark and deadly strife;

When through our land a psalm of grief

Smote every heart and door
With tidings from each battlefield

Rock'd by dread cannons' roar ;
And mothers prayed and sisters wept

With love and faith divine,
Beseeching God to guard our hosts

Along the frontier line.



14



From Lundy's Lane and Queenston Heights

The message speedily came
That filled each heart and home with joy

And tired the wings of fame ;
At Chateauguay brave sons of France

Drove back the stubborn foe,
With loyal heart and weapon strong,

Just eighty years ago.

But not alone on battlefield

Did heroes, staunch and brave,
Yield up their lives in honor's cause

Our country's flag to save :
In savage forests deep and drear,

Beset with hardships fell,
Our fathers toiled then sank to sleep

Within each lonely dell.

Their memory lives upon our streams,

Their deeds upon our plains;
They need not shaft nor monument,

Nor gold-emblazon'd panes;
In virtues link'd through ages

Shall their great strong lives flow on,
Inspiring souls to nobler deeds

From patriot sire to son.



15



Theirs be the glory, ours the love,

In this great cherish'd land,
Bearing the impress seal of heaven

And fashioned by His hand,
Whose victory is the ark of peace,

Guarded by love not fear
Strong as the faith that consecrates

Our heroes with a tear.

A nation's hope, a nation's life

Be ours from east to west;
A nation's hope, a nation's life

To fire each patriot breast ;
That in the blossoming years to come

Our proudest boast as men,
When bound by ties of nationhood,

To hail this land Canadian!



16



OUR DEATHLESS DEAD.

WHAT shall we sing of our heroes
Who died on the field of fame,
Whose patriot deeds of devotion
Our loving hearts proclaim?
Shall we count the stars of their glory,

And tell how they fought to save
The flag of our home and country
Now floating above each grave?

No; ours is a simple duty,

Devoid of trumpet or tongue,
With meaning far deeper and greater

Than bard or poet has sung:
Our hearts must beat to their measure,

Our feet keep pace to their tread,
If we would be worthy to honor

The graves of our deathless dead.

The world is linked with cycles,

Each lit with the glory of man,
Whose rays of ripen'd splendor

Stream'd forth when freedom began ;
For Persian yielded to Grecian

Till Roman valor won all,
Then the voice of the North rang loud and strong

That Rome itself must fall.



17



Where now is the Spartan soldier

Who fought with spear and shield,
Who lisp'd the names of the warlike gods

That taught him never to yield ?
W r here now are the Roman legions

That answered to victory's call,
And smiled when the voice of Caesar

Sounded the march to Gaul?

They live in the heart of history,

But not in the hearts of men;
Their names are red with the crimson stain

Of Conquest's crime and sin;

They had no message of freedom,

They knelt at no altar but fame:

The gifts they brought to their vanquished foes

Were slavery, sin and shame.

But the years have blossom'd with new-born thought

Adown long centuries' plain,
And the seed oft sown with Freedom's hand

Has ripen'd for man not gain;
For the noblest thought in the world today

Takes counsel with Freedom's plan
To snap in twain the bondsman's chain,
And bid him stand forth a Man!



18



Then honor and love and tears we bring

To each grave of our patriot dead;

To the soldier who hearken'd to Duty's voice,
To the great strong heart that led.
We shower o'er each breast, long, long at rest,

In rainbow blossom and hue,
The flowers of our heart, the flowers of our home

God bless the Brave and the True!



19



AN ODE TO THE NEW YEAR.

GOD bless our land ! with Faith's right hand
Shower blessings on our people ;
From waste of snow to city bright,
Ring love from every steeple ;
From hearts where fondest hopes abide,
In regal homes of splendor,
Send forth to all in cot and hall,
A message pure and tender!

God bless our land! with patriot hand
Inscribe her brightest story,
Across the span of future years,
In deed of deathless glory;
From east to west, from north to south,
Shower blessings on our people ;
From waste of snow to city bright,
Ring love from every steeple!

God bless our land! with Faith's right hand

Heal bitter Strife's unkindness,

And wounded hearts win back in love

From Passion's rule and blindness ;

God bless our hearts ! God bless our homes !

Shower blessings on our people!

In purest chime thro' endless time

From heavenly Church and Steeple !



20



UNDER THE NORTHERN STAR.

WRITTEN ON THE OCCASION OF THE CELEBRATION OF

CANADIAN DAY AT THE PANAMA EXPOSITION,

SAN FRANCISCO, 1915.

UNDER the Northern Star stretches and reaches
of land
Fashion'd and form'd with the finger of God,
Priceless in bounty, a gift from His hand
Mountain, and prairie, and emerald sod.

Sunlight and moonlight fill all our vast fields,
Touching the grain into beauteous gold:
Giants of manhood, we stand by the way,
And building our Nation we never grow old.

On rush our rivers, with welcomed acclaim,
Catching the glints of our dew-drench'd sky;
While pioneers plough and statesmen plan,
New homes are fashioned and cities arise.

Then greetings we bring to the Golden Gate,
With its wealth of dreams and storied shores ;
Where the Nations have builded an Altar of Peace,
And St. Francis, in friendship, thrown wide his doors.



21



POEMS OF LOVE AND AFFECTION



THE TIDE OF LOVE.

THE tide of love is a tide of the sea,
Measureless, infinite, royal and free;
It sways on its crest the soul of man,
And has lash'd life's sea since the world began
Out of its mystery poets are born;
Link'd to its chain is sorrow and scorn ;
It seeks the shores of returning love,
Then welcomes the light of each star above.

The tide of love is a despot kind ;

It frees the soul though its fetters bind ;

Its dawn is a spark of the infinite soul ;

Its waves are the passions that shoreward roll

It greets the mystery of sun and star;

It carries our dreams beyond life's bar ;

Out of its heart, in an infinite plan,

God fashions all life in the soul of Man.



25



THE SONG MY MOTHER SINGS.

O SWEET unto my heart is the song my mother
sings
As eventide is brooding on its dark and noise-
less wings ;

Every note is charged with memory every memory
bright with rays

Of the golden hours of promise in the lap of child-
hood's days ;

The orchard blooms anew and each blossom scents the
way,

And I feel again the breath of eve among the new-
mown hay;

While through the halls of memory in happy notes
there rings

All the life-joy of the past in the song my mother
sings.

I have listened to the dreamy notes of Chopin and of

Liszt,
As they dripp'd and droop'd about my heart and filled


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