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The Quest

Broken and bruised, poor bird in the gale,
Tossed on the rage of the merciless wind,
Thou art so tenderly fashioned, so frail,—
Whither art bound in a sky so unkind?

Away o'er the moorlands, under a pine,
Swings a small nest that is downy and warm,
Fledglings are waiting me—fledglings of mine,
Little I care for the teeth of the storm.

Beaten and buffeted, soul in the strife,
Scorned in the concourse of men, and oppress'd,
Braving the sting of the surges of life,—
Whither art hurrying, what is thy quest?

Far on the heights of endeavor and pain,
Truth and Reality scatter their beams,
These are eternity—these would I gain,
Little I care for the shadows and dreams.

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