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This poem is taken from PN Review 50, Volume 12 Number 6, July - August 1986.

'Two Letters of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing' James Greene

1

My dear Eschenburg, I take this moment when my wife
Is lying here altogether without consciousness
To thank you for your kind condolence.

My happiness was short-lived.
I lost him so unwillingly, this son,
Because he possessed so much good sense!

Do not imagine that these few hours of fatherhood
Turned me into a doting papa! I know what I am saying:
...


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