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After Midnight

IT is at morning twilight they expire;
Death takes in hand, when midnight sounds,
Millions of bodies in their beds,
And scarcely anybody thinks of it ...

O men and women, you
About to die at break of day,
I see your hands' uneasy multitude,
Which now the blood deserts for ever!

White people in the throes of death,
Wrestling in all the world to-night,
And whom the weeping dawn will silence,
Fearful I hear your gasping breath!

How many of you there are dying!
How can so many other folks be lying
Asleep upon the shore of your death-rattles!

... Here is noise in the house;
I am not the only one who hears you:
Someone has stepped about a room,
Someone has risen to watch over you ...

But no! It is a little song I hear.
If someone stepped about a room,
It was to go and rock a little child,
Who has been born this evening in the house.

translated by Jethro Bithell
Friday, February 12, 2016
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