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“Before a Midnight Breaks in Storm” Dedication from The Five Nations 1903 BEFORE a midnight breaks in storm,  Or herded sea in wrath, Ye know what wavering gusts inform  The greater tempest’s path?   Till the loosed wind   Drive all from mind, Except Distress, which, so will prophets cry, O’ercame them, houseless, from the unhintmg sky, Ere rivers league against the land  In piratry of flood, Ye know what waters steal and stand  Where seldom water stood.   Yet who will note,   Till fields afloat, And washen carcass and the returning well, Trumpet what these poor heralds strove to tell? Ye know who use the Crystal Ball  (To peer by stealth on Doom), The Shade that, shaping first of all,  Prepares an empty room.   Then doth It pass   Like breath from glass, But, on the extorted vision bowed intent, No man considers why It came or went. Before the years reborn behold  Themselves with stranger eye, And the sport-making Gods of old, .  Like Samson slaying, die,   Many shall hear   The all-p . . .
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