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[292]
     The gray of hair grew young again,
The sick man laughed away his pain,
     The cripple leaped and ran.

“Drink, mortals, what the gods have sent,
     Forget your long annoy.”
So sang the priests. From tent to tent
     The Soma's sacred madness went,
A storm of drunken joy.

Then knew each rapt inebriate
     A winged and glorious birth,
Soared upward, with strange joy elate,
     Beat, with dazed head, Varuna's gate,
And, sobered, sank to earth.

The land with Soma's praises rang;
     On Gihon's banks of shade
Its hymns the dusky maidens sang;
     In joy of life or mortal pang
All men to Soma prayed.

The morning twilight of the race
     Sends down these matin psalms;
And still with wondering eyes we trace
     The simple prayers to Soma's grace,
That Vedic verse embalms.

As in that child-world's early year,
     Each after age has striven
By music, incense, vigils drear,
     And trance, to bring the skies more near,
Or lift men up to heaven!

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