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When first I saw thee, knew thee not,
Save as relentless foe,
Believing thou could'st only plot
Unfathomable woe,


I from thee turned with bitter moan,
And bore thee lasting hate;
But now thy deeper purpose known
Seems all compassionate.


When senseless pain impedes the breath
Life's fevered fires expand,
Quick-coming, cool, enfolding death,
I greet thee as a friend.