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A Meditation on the Last Roll-Call

Nearing the end

of a long threescore and ten,

With all its chances, changes,

losses, sorrows, and dangers,

My parents’ deaths and brother too,

the nonconformity of my life through,

The many tearing passions of my mind,

the war of ’68 and ‘9,

As some old spent warrior,

down a long, hot, lonely corridor,

Reckoned after some contested appeal,

rewarded by a word haply revealed,

Tonight at twilight limping,

as yet the Commander’s roll-call attending,

Here, with immediate but broken voice,

I am vigilant, and have made my choice,

Reporting still, honoring yet,

the Divine Officer I once met.

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