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The thunder's greeting : :-nor have Nature's laws
Left them ungifted with a power to yield
Music of finer tone; a harmony,
So do I call it; though it be the hand
Of silence, though there be no voice;-the clouds,
The mist, the shadows, light of golden suns,
Motions of moonlight, all come thither-louch,
And have an answer-thither come, and shape
A language not unwelcome to sick hearts
And idle spirits:—there the sun himself,
At the calm close of summer's longest day,
Rests his substantial Orb;-between those heights
And on the top of either pinnacle,
More keenly than elsewhere in night's blue vault,
Sparkle the Stars, as of their station proud.
Thoughts are not busier in the mind of man
Than the mute Agents stirring there:-alone
Here do I sit and watch.--»

A fall of voice,
Regretted like the Nightingale's last note,
Had scarcely closed this high-wrought Rhapsody,
Ere with inviting smile the Wanderer said,
« Now for the Tale with which you threaten'd us !»
«In truth the threat escaped me unawares ;
Should the tale tire you, let this challenge stand
For my excuse. Dissever'd from mankind,
As to your eyes and thoughts we must have seem'd
When ye look'd down upon us from the crag,
Islanders of a stormy mountain sea,
We are not so;--perpetually we touch
Upon the vulgar ordinance of the world,
And, he, whom this our Cottage hath to-day
Relinquislid, lived dependent for his bread
Upon the laws of public charity.
The Housewife, tempted by such slender gains
As might from that occasion be distilla,
Open'd, as she before had done for me,
Her doors to admit this homeless Pensioner;
The portion gave of coarse but wholesome fare
Whicle appetite required--a blind dull nook
Such as she had--the kennel of his rest!
This, in itself not ill, would yet have been
!Il borne in earlier life, but his was now
The still contentedness of seventy years.
Calm did he sit beneath the wide-spread tree
Of his old age; and yet less calm and meek,
Winningly meek or venerably calm,
Than slow and torpid ; paying in this wise
A penalty, if penally it were,
For spendthrift feats, excesses of his prime.
I loved the Old Man, for I pitied him!
A task it was, I own, to hold discourse
With one so slow in gathering up his thoughts,
But he was a cheap pleasure to my eyes;
Mild, inoffensive, ready in his way,
And helpful to his utmost power: and there
Our Housewife knew full well what she possess'd!
He was her Vassal of all labour, tillid
Per garden, from the pasture fetch'd her Kine;
And, one among the orderly array
Of Hay-makers, beneath the burning sun
Maintain d his place; or heedfully pursued
His course, on errands bound, to other vales,
Leading sometimes an inexperienced Child,
Too

young for any profitable task. So moved he like a Shadow that perform d

1

Substantial service. Mark me now, and learn For what reward! The Moon her monthly round Nath not completed since our Dame, the Queen of this one cottage and this lonely dale, Into my little sanctuary rushdVoice to a rueful treble humanized, And features in deplorable dismay.I treat the matter lightly, but, alas! It is most serions: persevering rain Had fallen in torrents; all the mountain tops Were hidden, and black vapours coursed their sides, This had I seen and saw; but, till she spake, Was wholly ignorant that my ancient Friend, Who at her bidding, early and alone, Uad clomb aloft to delve the moorland turf For winter fuel, to his noontide meal Return'd not, and now, haply, on the Heights Lay at the mercy of this raging storm. «Inhuman!»-said I, « was an Old Man's life Not worth the trouble of a thought!--alas! This notice comes too late.» With joy I saw Her Pusband enter-from a distant Vale. We sallied forth together; found the tools Which the neglected Veteran had droppid, But through all quarters look'd for him in vain. We shouted--but no answer! Darkness fell Without remission of the blast or shower, And fears for our own safety drove us home. I, who weep little, did, I will confess, The moment I was seated here alone, Honour my little Cell with some few tears Which anger and resentment could not dry. All right the storm endured; and, soon as help Had been collected from the neighbouring Vale, With morning we renew'd our quest: the wind Was fallen, the rain abated, but the hills Lay shrouded in impenetrable mist; And long and hopelessly we sought in vain. Till, chancing on that lofty ridge to pass A heap of ruin, almost without walls, And wholly without roof, (the bleach'd remains Of a small Chapel, where, iu ancient time, The Peasants of these lonely valleys used To meet for worship on that central height) We there espied the Object of our search, Lying full three parts buried among tufts Of heath-plant, under and above him strewn, To baftle, as he might, the watery storm: And there we found him breathing peaceably, Soug as a child that hides itself in sport Mid a green hay-cock in a sunny field. We spake—he made reply, but would not stir At our entreaty; less from want of power Than apprehension and bewildering thoughts. So was he lifted gently from the ground, And with their freight the Shepherds homeward moved Through the dull mist, I following-when a step, A single step, that freed me from the skirts Of the blind vapour, opeu'd to my view Glory beyond all glory ever seen ily waking sense or by the dreaming soul! The Appearance, instantaneously disclosed, Was of a mighty City-boldly say A wilderness of building, sinking far And self-withdrawn into a wood'rous depth l'ar sinking into splendour-without eml!

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BOOK III. .

ARGUMENT.

Images in the Valley-Another Recess in it entered and

described—Wanderer's sensations--Solitary's excited by the same objects-Contrast between these-Despondency of the Solitary gently reproved-Conversation exhibiting the Solitary's past and present opinions and feelings, till he enters upon his own History at length—His domestic felicity-aftlictions -dejection-roused by the French Revolution-Disappointment and disgust-Voyage to America-disappointment and disgust pursue bim-his returuHis languor and depression of mind, from want of faith in the great truths of Religion, and want of confidence in the virtue of Mankind.

Fabric it seemed of diamond and of gold,
With alabaster domes, and silver spires,
And blazing terrace upon terrace, high
C'plifted; bere, serene pavilions bright,
In avenues disposed; there towers begirt,
With battlements that on their resuess fronts
Bore stars-illumination of all gems!
By carthly nature had the effect been wrought
Upon the dark materials of the storm
Now pacified; on them, and on the coves
And mountain-steeps and summits, whereunto
The

vapours had receded, taking there
Their station under a cerulean sky.
(), 't was an unimaginable sight!
Clouds, mists, streams, watery rocks and emerald turf,
Clouds of all tincture, rocks and sapphire sky,
Confused, commingled, mutually intlamed,
Molten together, and composing thus,
Each lost in each, that marvellous array
Of temple, palace, citadel, and huge
Fantastic pomp of structure without name,
lo fleecy folds voluminous, enwrapp'd.
Right in the midst, where interspace appear'd
Of open court, an object like a throne
Beneath a shining canopy of state
Stood fixd; and fix'd resemblances were seen
To implements of ordinary use,
But vast in size, in substance glorified:
Such as by llebrew Prophets were beheld
In vision--forms uncouth of mightiest power,
For admiration and mysterious awe.
Below me was the earth; this little Vale
Lay low beneath my feet; 't was visible-
I saw not, but I felt that it was there,
That which I saw was the reveald abode
Of spirits in beatitude: my heart
Swelld in my breast.—'I have been dead,' I cried,
* And now I live! Oh! wherefore do I live?'
And with that pang I pray'd to be no more!-
- But I forget our Charge, as utterly
I then forgot him:- there I stood and gazed;
The apparition faded not away,
And I descended. - Having reach'd the House,
I found its rescued Inmate safely lodged,
And in serene possession of himself,
Beside a genial fire; that seem'd to spread
A gleam of comfort o'er his pallid face.
Great show of joy the Housewife made, and truly
Was glad to find her conscience set at ease;
And not less glad, for sake of her good name,
That the poor Sufferer had escaped with life.
Bul, though be seem'd at first to have received
No harm, and uncomplaining as before
Went through his usual tasks, a silent change
Soon show'd itself; he linger'd three short weeks;
And from the Cottage bath been borne to-day.

DESPONDENCY. A HUMMING Bee-a little tinkling RillA pair of Falcons, wheeling on the wing, In clamorous agitation, round the crest Of a tall rock, their airy Citadel By each and all of these ibe pensive ear Was greeted, in the silence that ensued, When through the Cottage-threshold we had passid, And, deep within that lonesome Valley, stood Once more, beneath the concave of a blue And cloudless sky. -Anon ! exclaim'd our Host, Triumphantly dispersing with the taunt The shade of discontent which on his brow llad gather'd, — « Ye have left my cell, - but see How Nature hems you in with friendly arms! And by her help ye are my Prisoners still. But which way shall I lead you ?—how cootrive, Jo Spot so parsimoniously endow'd, That the brief hours, which yet remain, may reap Some recompense of knowledge or delight ?» So saying, round he look'd as if perplex'd ; And, to remove those doubts, my grey-hair'd Friend Said-« Shall we take this pathway for our guide ?Upward il winds, as if, in summer heats, Its line had first been fashion'd by the tlock A place of refuge seeking at the root Of yon black Yew-tree; whose protruded boughs Darken the silver bosom of the crag, From which she draws her meagre sustenance. There in commodious shelter may we rest. Or let us trace this Streamlet to its source; Feebly it tinkles with an earthy sound, And a few steps may bring us to the spot Where, haply, crown'd with flowerets and green herbs, The mountain lofapt to the sun comes forth, Like human Life from darkness.»—A quick cura Through a strait passage of encumber'd ground, Proved that such hope was vain :-for now we stood Shut out from prospect of the open Vale, And saw the water, that composed this Rill, Descending, disembodied, and diffused O'er the smooth surface of an ample Crag, Lofty, and steep, and naked as a Tower. All further progress bere was barrd; -- And wlu, Thought I, if master of a vacant hour, llere would not linger, willingly detain'd ?

« So ends my dolorous Tale, and glad I am That it is ended.n At these words he turn'dAnd, with blithe air of

open fellowship, Brought from the Cupboard wine and stouter cheer, Like one who would be merry. Seeing this, My grry-hair'd Fricod said courteously—« Nay, pay, You have regaled us as a llermit ought; Now Ict us forth into the sun!» Our Host Rose, though reluctantly, and forth we went

Whether to such wild objects he were led

Measuring through all degrees, until the scale
When copious rains have magnified the stream Of Time and conscious Nature disappear,
Into a loud and white-robed Waterfall,

Lost in unsearchable Eternity!»
Or introduced at this more quiet time.

A pause ensued; and with minuter care Upon a semicirque of turf-clad ground,

We scann'd the various features of the scene : The hidden nook discover'd to our view

And soon the Tenant of that lonely Vale A mass of rock, resembling, as it lay

With courteous voice thus spakeRight at the foot of that moist precipice,

«I should have grieved A stranded Ship, with keel upturn'd, -that rests Hereafter, not escaping self-reproach, Fearless of winds and waves. Three several Stones If from my poor Retirement ye had gone Stood dear, of smaller size, and not unlike

Leaving this Nook unvisited : but, in sooth, To monumental pillars : and, from these

Your unexpected presence had so roused Some little space disjoin'd, a pair were seen,

My spirits, that they were bent on enterprise; That with united shoulders bore aloft

And, like an ardent Hunter, I forgot, A Fragment, like an Altar, flat and smooth;

Or, shall I say?-disdain d, the game that lurks Barren the tablet, yet thereon appear'd

At my own door. The shapes before our eyes, A tall and shining Holly, that had found

And their arrangement, doubtless must be deem'd A hospitable chink, and stood upright,

The sport of Nature, aided by blind Chance, As if inserted by some human hand

Rudely to mock the works of toiling Man. In mockery, to wither in the sun,

And hence, this upright Shaft of unhewn stone, Or lay its beauty flat before a breeze,

From Fancy, willing to set off her stores
The first that enter'd. But no breeze did now

By sounding Titles, hath acquired the name
Find entrance;-high, or low, appear'd no trace of Pompey's Pillar; that I gravely style
Of motion, save the Water that descended,

My Theban Obelisk; and, there, behold
Diffused adown that Barrier of steep rock,

A druid Cromlech!- thus I entertain And softly creeping, like a breath of air,

The antiquarian humour, and am pleased Such as is sometimes seen, and hardly seen,

To skim along the surfaces of things, To brush the still breast of a crystal Lake.

Beguiling harmlessly the listless hours.

But, if the spirit be oppressd by sense « Behold a Cabinet for Sages built,

Of instability, revolt, decay, Which Kings might envy!»—Praise to this effect And change, and emptiness, these freaks of Nature Broke from the happy Old Mau's reverend lip; And her blind helper Chance, do then suffice Who to the Solitary turn'd, and said,

To quicken, and to aggravate-to feed «In sooth, with love's familiar privilege,

Pity and scorn, and melancholy pride, You have decried the wealth which is your own.

Not less than that huge Pile (from some abyss Among these Rocks and Stones, methinks, I see Of mortal power unquestionably sprung) More than the heedless impress that belongs

Whose hoary Diadem of pendant rocks To lonely Nature's casual work : they bear

Confines the shrill-voiced whirlwind, round and round A semblance strange of power intelligent,

Eddying within its vast circumference, And of design not wholly worn away.

On Sarum's naked plain;-than Pyramid Boldest of plants that ever faced the wind,

Of Egypt, unsubverted, undissolved; How gracefully that slender Shrub looks forth Or Syria's marble Ruias lowering high From its fantastic birth-place! And I own,

Above the sandy Desert, in the light Some shadowy intimations haunt me here,

Of sun or moon.-Forgive me, if I say That in these shows a chronicle survives

That an appearance, which hath raised your minds Of purposes akin to those of Man,

To an exalted pitch, (the self-same cause But wrought with mightier arm than now prevails.

Different effect producing) is for me -Voiceless the stream descends into the gulf

Fraught rather with depression than delight, With timid lapse ;-and lo! while in this Strait Though shame it were, could I not look around, I stand the chasm of sky above my head

By the reflection of your pleasure, pleased. Is heaven's profoundest azure; Do domain

Yet happier, in my judgment, even than you For fickle, short-lived clouds to occupy,

With your bright transports fairly may be deemd, Or to pass through, but rather an Abyss

The wandering Herbalist,—who, clear alike
In which the everlasting Stars abide ;

From vain, and, that worse evil, vexing thoughts,
And whose soft gloom, and boundless depth, might tempt Casts, if he ever chance to enter here,
The curious eye to look for them by day.

Upon these uncouth Forms a slight regard
-Hail Contemplation! from the stately towers, Of transitory interest, and peeps round
Rear'd by the industrious hand of human Art

For some rare Floweret of the hills, or Plant To lift thee high above the misty air,

Of craggy fountain; what he hopes for wins, And turbulence of murmuring cities vast;

Or learns, at least, that 't is not to be won : From academic groves, that have for thee

Then, keen and eager, as a fine-nosed Hound Been planted, hither come and find a Lodge

By soul engrossing instinct drives along
To which thou mayst resort for holier peace,

Through wood or open field, the harmless Man
From whose calm centre Thou, through height or depth Departs, intent upon his onward quest!
Mayst penetrate, wherever Truth shall lead;

Nor is that Fellow-wanderer, so deem I,

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Less to be envied (you may trace him oft

And what, when breath hath ceased, we may become. By scars which his activity has left

Here are we, in a bright and breathing World-
Beside our roads and pathways, though, thank Heaven! Our origin, what matters it? In lack
This covert nook reports not of his hand)

Of worthier explanation, say at once
Hle, who with pocket hammer smiles the edge

With the American (a thought which suits
Of luckless rock or prominent stone, disguised The place where now we stand) that certain Men
In weather-stains, or crusted o'er by Nature

Leapt out together from a rocky Cave;
With her first growths-detaching by the stroke And these were the first Parents of Mankind :
A chip, or splinter- to resolve his doubts;

Or, if a different image be recalled
And, with that ready answer satisfied,

By the warm sunshine, and the jocund voice The substance classes by some barbarous name, Of insects-chirping out their careless lives And hurries on; or from the fragments picks

On these soft beds of thyme-besprinkled turf, His specimen, if haply intervein'd

Chuse, with the gay Athenian, a conceit With sparkling mineral, or should crystal cube

As sound-bliche race! whose mantles were bedecked Lurk in its cells-and tbinks himself enrich'd,

With golden Grasshoppers, in sign that they Wealibier, and doubtless wiser, than before!

Had sprung, like those bright creatures, from the soil Intrusted safely-each to his pursuit

Whereon their endless generations dwelt.
Earnest alike, let both from hill to hill

But stop!- these theoretic fancies jar
Range; if it please them, speed from clime to clime; On serious minds; then, as the Hindoos draw
The mind is full-no pain is in their sport.»

Their holy Ganges from a skiey fount,

Even so deduce the Stream of human Life Then,» said I, interposing; «One is near,

From seats of power divine; and hope, or trust, Who cannot but possess in your esteem

That our Existence winds her stately course Place worthier still of envy. May I name,

Beneath the Sun, like Ganges, to make part Without offence, that fair-faced Cottage-boy?

Of a living Ocean; or, to sink engulfed Dame Nature's Pupil of the lowest Form,

Like Niger, in impenetrable sands Youngest Apprentice in the School of Art!

And utter darkness: thought which may be faced, llim, as we enter'd from the open Glen,

Though comfortless! - Not of myself I speak; You might have noticed, busily engaged,

Such acquiescence neither doth imply, lleart, soul, and hands,-in mending the defects In me, a meekly-bending spirit—soothed Left in the fabric of a leaky dam,

By natural piety; nor a lofty mind,
Raised for enabling this penurious stream

By philosophic discipline prepared
To turn a slender inill (that new-made plaything) For calm subjection to acknowledged law;
For his delight--the happiest he of all!»--

Pleased to have been, contented not to be.

Such palms I boast not;-no! to me, who find, « Far happiest,» answer'd the desponding Man, Reviewing my past way, much to condemn, « If, such as pow he is, he might remain !

Little to praise, and nothing to regret Ah! what avails Imagination high

(Save some remembrances of dream-like joys Or Question deep? what profits all that Earth,

That scarcely seem to have belonged to me) Or Heaven's blue Vault, is suffered to put forth If I must take my choice between the pair Of impulse or allurement, for the Soul

That rule alternately the weary hours, To quit the beaten track of life, and soar

Night is than day more acceptable;-sleep Far as she finds a yielding element

Doth, in my estimate of good, appear In past or future; far as she can go

A better state than waking; death than sleep : Through time or space; if neither in the one,

Feelingly sweet is stillness after storm,
Nor in the other region, nor in aught

Thoughi under covert of the wormy ground !
That Fancy, dreaming o'er the map of things,
Hath placed beyond these penetrable bounds,

« Yet be it said, in justice to myself, Words of assurance can be heard; if nowhere

That in more genial times, when I was free A habitation, for consummate good,

To explore the destiny of human kind, Nor for progressive virtue, by the search

(Not as an intellectual game pursued Ciu be attain'd, a better sanctuary

With curious subtiliy, from wish to cheat From doubt and sorrow, than the senseless grave!» Irksome sensations; but by love of truth

Urged on, or haply by intense delight u Is this,» the grey-bair'd Wanderer mildly said, In feeding thought, wherever thought could feed.) « The voice, which we so lately overheard,

I did not rank with those (too dull or nice, To that same Child, addressing tenderly

For to my judgment such they then appeared, The Coosolations of a hopeful mind ?

Or too aspiring, thankless at the bese) *Alis body is al rest, his soul in heaven.'

Who, in this frame of human life, perceive These were your words; and, verily, mcthinks

an object whereunto their souls are tied Wisdom is oft-times nearer when we stoop

In discontented wedlock; nor did e'er, Thao when we soar.»

From me, those dark impervious shades, that hang The Other, not displeased, Cpon the region whither we are bound, Prompily replied.—« My votion is the same.

Exclude a power to enjoy the vital beams And I, without reluctance, could decline

Of present sunshine.- Deities that float All acl cf ioquisition whepce we rise,

On wings, angelic Spirits, I could muse

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O'er what from eldest time we have been told
Of your bright forms and glorious faculties,
And with the imagination be content,
Not wishing more; repining not to tread
The little sinuous path of earthly care,
By flowers embellished, and by springs refreshed.

- Blow winds of Autumu!-let your chilling breath
Take the live herbage from the mead, and strip
The shady forest of its green attire,--
And let the bursting clouds to fury rouse
The gentle Brooks !- Your desolating sway,'
Thus I exclaimed, 'no sadness sheds on me,
And no disorder in your rage I find.
What diguity, what beauty, in this change
From mild to angry, and from sad to gay,
Alternate and revolving! How benign,
How rich in animation and delight,
How bountiful these elements-- compared
With aught, as more desirable and fair,
Devised by Fancy for the Golden Age;
Or the perpetual warbling that prevails
In Arcady, beneath unaltered skies,
Through the long Year in constant quiet bound,
Night hushed as night, and day serene as day!
– But why this tedious record ?--Age, we know,
Is garrulous; and solitude is apt
To anticipate the privilege of Age.
From far ye come; and surely with a hope
Of better entertainment-let us hence!»

For their own sakes, as mortal life's chief good,
And only reasonable felicity.
What motive drew, what impulse, I would ask,
Through a long course of later ages, drove
The llermit to his Cell in forest wide;
Or what detained him, till his closing eyes
Took their last farewell of the sun and stars,
Fast anchored in the desert?-Not alone
Dread of the persecuting sword-remorse,
Wrongs unredressed, or insults unavenged
And unavengcable, defeated pride,
Prosperity subverted, maddening want,
Friendship betrayed, affection unreturned,
Love with despair, or grief in agony :-
Not always from intolerable pangs
lle fled; but, compassed round by pleasure, sigbed
For independent happiness; craving peace,
The central feeling of all happiness,
Not as a refuge from distress or pain,
A breathing-time, vacation, or a truce,
But for its absolute self; a life of peace,
Stability without regret or fear;
That hath been, is, and shall be evermore!
Such the reward he sought; and wore out Life,
There, where on few external things his heart
Was set, and those his own; or, if not his,
Subsisting under Nature's steadfase law.

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« What other yearning was the master sie Of the monastic Brotherhood; upon Rock Aerial, or in green secluded Vale, One after one, collected from afar, An undissolving Fellowship?–What but this, The universal instinct of repose, The longing for confirmed tranquillity, Joward and outward ; humble, yet sublime:The life where hope and memory are as ope; Earth quiet and unchanged; the buman Soul Consistent in self-rule; and heaven revealed To meditation, in that quietness! Such was their scheme:-thrice happy he who gainal The end proposed! And, -though the same were missed By multitudes, perhaps obtained by none, They, for the attempt, and for the paios employed, Do, in my present censure, stand redeemed From the unqualified disdain, that once Would have been cast upon them, by my Voice Delivering its decisions from the seat Of forward Youth:-that scruples not to solve Doubts, and determine questions, by the rules Of inexperienced judgment, ever prone To overweening faith; and is intlamed, By courage, to demand from real life The test of act and suffering-to provoke Hostility, how dreadful when it comes, Whether aftliction be the foe, or guilt!

Loth to forsake the spot, and still more loth To be diverted froin our present theme, I said, « My thoughts agreeing, Sir, with yours, Would push this censure farther ;-for, if smiles Of scornful pity be the just reward Of Poesy, thus courteously employed In framing models to improve the scheme Of Man's existence, and recast the world, Why should not grave Philosophy be styled, Herself, a Dreamer of a kindred stock, A Dreamer yet more spiritless and dull? Yes, shall the fine immunities shc boasts Establish sounder titles of esteem For Her, who (all too timid and reserved For onset, for resistance too incrt, Too weak for suffering, and for bope too tame) Placed among flowery gardens, curtained round With world-excluding groves, the Brotherhood Of soft Epicureaus, taught-if they The ends of being would secure, and win The crown of wisdom-to yield up their souls To a voluptuous unconcern, preferring Tranquillity to all things. Or is She,» I cried, « more worthy of regard, the Power, Who, for the sake of sterner quiet, closed The Stoic's heart against the vain approach Of admiration, and all sense of joy?»

His Countenance cave potice that my

zcal Accorded little with his present mind; I ceased, and he resumed.---- Ah! gentle Sir, Slight, if you will, the means; but spare to slight The end of those, who did, by system, rank, As the prime object of a wise Man's aim, Security from shock of accident, Release from fear; and cherished peaceful days

« A Child of earth, I rested, in that stage Of my past course to which these thoughts advert, Upon earth's native energies; forgetting That mine was a condition which required Nor energy, nor fortitude--a calm Without vicissitude; which, if tbe like Had been presented to my view elsewhere, I might have even beeu tempted to despise. But that which was serene was also bright;

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