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[259] What he was and what he is
     They who ask may haply find,
If they read this prayer of his
     Which he left behind.

Pardon, Lord, the lips that dare
     Shape in words a mortal's prayer!
Prayer, that, when my day is done,
     And I see its setting sun,
Shorn and beamless, cold and dim,
     Sink beneath the horizon's rim,—
When this ball of rock and clay
     Crumbles from my feet away,
And the solid shores of sense
     Melt into the vague immense,
Father! I may come to Thee
     Even with the beggar's plea,
As the poorest of Thy poor,
     With my needs, and nothing more.

Not as one who seeks his home
     With a step assured I come;
Still behind the tread I hear
     Of my life-companion, Fear;
Still a shadow deep and vast
     From my westering feet is cast,
Wavering, doubtful, undefined,
     Never shapen nor outlined:
From myself the fear has grown,
     And the shadow is my own.

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