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Since the first human eye saw a leaf in Devonian

Since the first human eye saw a leaf in Devonian sandstone and a puzzled finger
reached to touch it, sadness has lain over the heart of man. By this tenuous
thread of living protoplasm, stretching backward into time, we are linked forever to lost beaches whose sands have long since hardened into stone. The stars that caught our blind
amphibian stare have shifted far or vanished in their courses, but still that naked, glistening thread winds onward. No one knows the secret of its beginning or its end. Its
forms are phantoms. The thread alone is real; the thread is life.

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