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Bath by Carl Sandburg
A MAN saw the whole world as a grinning skull and
cross-bones. The rose flesh of life shriveled from all
faces. Nothing counts. Everything is a fake. Dust to
dust and ashes to ashes and then an old darkness and a
useless silence. So he saw it all. Then he went to a
Mischa Elman concert. Two hours waves of sound beat
on his eardrums. Music washed something or other
inside him. Music broke down and rebuilt something or
other in his head and heart. He joined in five encores
for the young Russian Jew with the fiddle. When he
got outside his heels hit the sidewalk a new way. He
was the same man in the same world as before. Only
there was a singing fire and a climb of roses everlastingly
over the world he looked on.
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