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Oh for an unbridgeable abyss…

You touch the great lonely land,
only to plant upon it some ugliness
about which, never dreaming of the grace
of apology or contrition,
you then proceed to brag with
a cynicism of your own.
…and I should owe you my grudge
for every disfigurement and every violence,
for every wound with which you have
caused the face of the land to bleed.

Is the germ of anything finely human…
supposably planted in such conditions of
endless stretching and such boundless spreading
as shall appear finally to minister
but to the triumph of the superficial
and the apotheosis of the raw?

Oh for a split or a chasm…
Oh for an unbridgeable abyss
or an insuperable mountain.

Henry James


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