The Palimpsest

There is, in each man's heart,
Chinese writing—
A secret script, a cryptic language:
The strange ideographs of the spirit,
Scribbled over or half erased
By the swift stenography of daily life.

No man can easily decipher this cordiscript,
This blurred text corrupted by fears and follies;
But now and then,
Reading his own heart
(So little studied, such fine reading matter!)
He sees fragments of rubric shine through—
Old words of truth and trouble
Illuminated, red and gold.
The study of this hidden language
Is what I call
Translating from the Chinese.
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