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An extract from W. H. Auden's In Praise of Limestone, 1948.

IF it form the one landscape that we, the inconstant ones, Are consistently homesick for, this is chiefly Because it dissolves in water. Mark these rounded slopes

With their surface fragrance of thyme and, beneath, A secret system of caves and conduits' hear the springs

That spurt out everywhere with a chuckle, Each filling a private pool for its fish and carving

Its own little ravine whose cliffs entertain The butterfly and the lizard' examine this region

Of short distances and definite places[...]

IN so far as we have to look forward

To death as a fact, no doubt we are right: But if Sins can be forgiven, if bodies rise from the dead,

These modifications of matter into Innocent athletes and gesticulating fountains,

Made solely for pleasure, make a further point: The blessed will not care what angle they are regarded from,

Having nothing to hide. Dear, I know nothing of Either, but when I try to imagine a faultless love

Or the life to come, what I hear is the murmur Of underground streams, what I see is a limestone landscape.
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 24, 2006
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