Instinctively we both looked for the inscriptions we cut, once upon a time, on trees and on stones, in foolish delight. We sought them like scattered treasure, on the strange cheeks of the old willows, near the tendrils of the fall, on the birches that stand like candles in front of the violet thicket, and on the old fir which so often sheltered us with its dark wings. Many inscriptions have disappeared. Some are worn away because things do; some are covered by a host of other inscriptions or they are distorted and ugly. Nearly all have passed on as if they had been passers-by.

Henri Barbusse
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