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p. 98


My little child, as few years older as I am than you, I love you, not as a lover loves, but as though you had come forth from my womb in labour.

When, stretched upon my knees, frail arms about my neck, you seek my breast, and with mouth held forward you slowly suck with palpitating lips,

I dream that at some former time I really nursed this supple, wet and tender mouth, this purple vase of myrrh in which my happiness is mysteriously enclosed.

Sleep! I'll cradle you upon my rocking knee with one hand. Sleep, so. I'll sing you mournful little songs, songs used to lull the new-born child to sleep. . .

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