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In Ebon Box, when years have flown
To reverently peer,
Wiping away the velvet dust
Summers have sprinkled there!
 
To hold a letter to the light—
Grown Tawny now, with time—
To con the faded syllables
That quickened us like Wine!
 
Perhaps a Flower’s shrivelled check
Among its stores to find—
Plucked far away, some morning—
By gallant—mouldering hand!
 
A curl, perhaps, from foreheads
Our Constancy forgot—
Perhaps, an Antique trinket—
In vanished fashions set!
 
And then to lay them quiet back—
And go about its care—
As if the little Ebon Box
Were none of our affair!

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