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The husky voices of the two or three officers yet fit for

duty, Formless stacks of bodies and bodies by themselves, dabs of Aesh


the masts and spars, Cut of cordage, dangle of rigging, slight shock of the

soothe of waves, Black and impassive guns, litter of powder-parcels, strong

scent, A few large stars overhead, silent and mournful shining, Delicate sniffs of sea-breeze, smells of sedgy grass and

fields by the shore, death-messages given in charge to

survivors, The hiss of the surgeon's knife, the gnawing teeth of his

saw, Wheeze, cluck, swash of falling blood, short wild scream,

and long, dull, tapering groan, These so, these irretrievable.

I do not despise you priests, all time, the world over,
My faith is the greatest of faiths and the least of faiths,
Enclosing worship ancient and modern and all between

ancient and modern, Believing I shall come again upon the earth after five

thousand years, Waiting responses from oracles, honoring the gods, salut

ing the sun, Making a fetich of the first rock or stump, powowing with

sticks in the circle of obis, Helping the llama or brahmin as he trims the lamps of the

idols, Dancing yet through the streets in a phallic procession,

rapt and austere in the woods a gymnosophist, Drinking mead from the skull-cup, to Shastas and Vedas

admirant, minding the Koran, Walking the teokallis, spotted with gore from the stone

and knife, beating the serpent-skin drum, Accepting the Gospels, accepting him that was crucified,

knowing assuredly that he is divine,

To the mass kneeling or the puritan's prayer rising, or sit

ting patiently in a pew, Ranting and frothing in my insane crisis, or waiting dead

like till my spirit arouses me, Looking forth on pavement and land, or outside of pave

ment and land, Belonging to the winders of the circuit of circuits.

It is time to explain myself - let us stand up.
What is known I strip away,
I launch all men and women forward with me into the

The clock indicates the moment — but what does eternity


We have thus far exhausted trillions of winters and

summers, There are trillions ahead, and trillions ahead of them.

Births have brought us richness and variety,
And other births will bring us richness and variety.
I do not call one greater and one smaller,
That which fills its period and place is equal to any.
Were mankind murderous or jealous upon you, my brother,

my sister?

I am sorry for you, they are not murderous or jealous upon

me, All has been gentle with me, I keep no account with lam

entation, (What have I to do with lamentation ?) I am an acme of things accomplish’d, and I an encloser of

things to be. My feet strike an apex of the apices of the stairs, On every step bunches of ages, and larger bunches between

the steps,

All below duly traveld, and still I mount and mount.
Rise after rise bow the phantoms behind me,
Afar down I see the huge first Nothing, I know I was even

there, I waited unseen and always, and slept through the lethargic

mist, And took my time, and took no hurt from the fetid carbon. Long I was hugg'd close - long and long. Immense have been the preparations for me, Faithful and friendly the arms that have help'd me. Cycles ferried my cradle, rowing and rowing like cheerful

boatmen, For room to me stars kept aside in their own rings, They sent influences to look after what was to hold me. Before I was born out of my mother generations guided

me, My embryo has never been torpid, nothing could overlay it. For it the nebula cohered to an orb, The long slow strata piled to rest it on. Vast vegetables gave it sustenance, Monstrous sauroids transported it in their mouths and

deposited it with care. All forces have been steadily employ'd to complete and

delight me, Now on this

spot I stand with my robust soul.

Old age superbly rising! O welcome, ineffable grace of

dying days! Every condition promulges not only itself, it promulges

what grows after and out of itself, And the dark hush promulges as much as any. I open my scuttle at night and see the far-sprinkled systems,

And all I see multiplied as high as I can cipher edge but

the rim of the farther systems. Wider and wider they spread, expanding, always expanding, Outward and outward and forever outward. My sun has his sun and round him obediently wheels, He joins with his partners a group of superior circuit, And greater sets follow, making specks of the greatest in

side them. There is no stoppage and never can be stoppage, If I, you, and the worlds, and all beneath or upon their

surfaces, were this moment reduced back to a pallid

float, it would not avail in the long run, We should surely bring up again where we now stand, And surely go as much farther, and then farther and

farther. A few quadrillions of eras, a few octillions of cubic

leagues, do not hazard the span or make it impatient, They are but parts, any thing is but a part. See ever so far, there is limitless space outside of that, Count ever so much, there is limitless time around that. My rendezvous is appointed, it is certain, The Lord will be there and wait till I come on perfect

terms, The great Camerado, the lover true for whom I pine will

be there.

I know I have the best of time and space, and was never

measured and never will be measured. I tramp a perpetual journey, (come listen all !) My signs are a rain-proof coat, good shoes, and a staff cut

from the woods,
No friend of mine takes his ease in my chair,
I have no chair, no church, no philosophy,
I lead no man to a dinner-table, library, exchange,

But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a

knoll, My left hand hooking you round the waist, My right hand pointing to landscapes of continents and

the public road. Not I, not any one else can travel that road for

you, You must travel it for yourself. It is not far, it is within reach, Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did

not know, Perhaps it is everywhere on water and on land. Shoulder your duds dear son, and I will mine, and let us

hasten forth, Wonderful cities and free nations we shall fetch as we go. If you tire, give ine both burdens, and rest the chuff of

your hand on my hip, And in due time you shall repay the same service to me, For after we start we never lie by again. This day before dawn I ascended a hill and look'd at the

crowded heaven, And I said to my spirit When we become the enfolders of

those orbs, and the pleasure and knowledge of every thing in

them, shall we be filld and satisfied then? And my spirit said No, we but level that lift to pass and con

tinue beyond. You are also asking me questions and I hear you, I answer that I cannot answer, you must find out for

yourself. Sit a while dear son, Here are biscuits to eat and here is milk to drink, But as soon as you sleep and renew yourself in sweet

clothes, I kiss you with a good-by kiss and open the gate for your egress hence.

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