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Long enough have you dream'd contemptible dreams,
Now I wash the gum from your eyes,
You must habit yourselves to the dazzle of the light and of
every moment of



Long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the

shore, Now I will you to be a bold swimmer, To jump off in the midst of the sea, rise again, nod to me,

shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.

I have said that the soul is not more than the body,
And I have said that the body is not more than the soul,
And nothing, not God, is greater to one than one's self is,
And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to

his own funeral drest in his shroud, And I or you pocketless of a dime may purchase the pick

of the earth, And to glance with an eye or show a bean in its pod con

founds the learning of all times, And there is no trade or employment but the young man

following it may become a hero, And there is no object so soft but it makes a hub for the

wheel'd universe, And I say to any man or woman, Let your soul stand cool

and composed before a million universes.

And I say to mankind, Be not curious about God,
For I who am curious about each am not curious about

God, (No array of terms can say how much I am at peace about

God and about death.) I hear and behold God in every object, yet understand

God not in the least, Nor do I understand who there can be more wonderful

than myself. Why should I wish to see God better than this day?

I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and

each moment then, In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my

own face in the glass, I find letters from God dropt in the street, and every one

is sign’d by God's name, And I leave them where they are, for I know that where

soe'er I go, Others will punctually come for ever and ever.

There is that in me I do not know what it is - but I

know it is in me. Wrench’d and sweaty - calm and cool then my body be

comes, I sleep - I sleep long. I do not know it it is without name - it is a word

unsaid, It is not in any dictionary, utterance, symbol. Something it swings on more than the earth I swing on, To it the creation is the friend whose embracing awakes


Perhaps I might tell more. Outlines ! I plead for my

brothers and sisters. Do you see O my brothers and sisters? It is not chaos or death — it is form, union, plan - it is

eternal life -- it is Happiness.

The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he com

plains of my gab and my loitering.
I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound


yawp over the roofs of the world. The last scud of day holds back for me,

likeness after the rest and true as any on the shadow'd wilds,

It Aings my

It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk.
I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,
I effuse my fesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I

If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.


I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to

them, And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge

of the soul. Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies

conceal themselves ? And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who

defile the dead ? And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul? And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul ?

The love of the body of man or woman balks account, the

body itself balks account, That of the male is perfect, and that of the female is perfect.

The expression of the face balks account,
But the expression of a well-made man appears not only in

his face, It is in his limbs and joints also, it is curiously in the joints

of his hips and wrists, It is in his walk, the carriage of his neck, the Aex of his

waist and knees, dress does not hide him, The strong sweet quality he has strikes through the cotton

and broadcloth, To see him pass conveys as much as the best poem, per

haps more, You linger to see his back, and the back of his neck and


The sprawl and fulness of babes, the bosoms and heads of

women, the folds of their dress, their style as we pass in

the street, the contour of their shape downwards, The swimmer naked in the swimming-bath, seen as he

swims through the transparent green-shine, or lies with his face up and rolls silently to and fro in the heave of

the water,

The bending forward and backward of rowers in row-boats,

the horseman in his saddle, Girls, mothers, house-keepers, in all their performances, The group of laborers seated at noon-time with their open

dinner-kettles, and their wives waiting, The female soothing a child, the farmer's daughter in the

garden or cow-yard, The young fellow hoeing corn, the sleigh-driver driving his

six horses through the crowd, The wrestle of wrestlers, two apprentice-boys, quite grown,

lusty, good-natured, native-born, out on the vacant lot at

sun-down after work, The coats and caps thrown down, the embrace of love and

resistance, The upper-hold and under-hold, the hair rumpled over and

blinding the eyes; The march of firemen in their own costumes, the play of

masculine muscle through clean-setting trowsers and

waist-straps, The slow return from the fire, the pause when the bell

strikes suddenly again, and the listening on the alert, The natural, perfect, varied attitudes, the bent head, the

curv'd neck and the counting; Such-like I love — I loosen myself, pass freely, am at the

mother's breast with the little child, Swim with the swimmers, wrestle with wrestlers, march in

line with the firemen, and pause, listen, count.

I knew a man, a common farmer, the father of five sons, And in them the fathers of sons, and in them the fathers

of sons. This man was of wonderful vigor, calmness, beauty of

person, The shape of his head, the pale yellow and white of his

hair and beard, the immeasurable meaning of his black

eyes, the richness and breadth of his manners, These I used to go and visit him to see, he was wise also, He was six feet tall, he was over eighty years old, his sons

were massive, clean, bearded, tan-faced, handsome, They and his daughters loved him, all who saw him loved

him, They did not love him by allowance, they loved him with

personal love, He drank water only, the blood show'd like scarlet through

the clear-brown skin of his face, He was a frequent gunner and fisher, he sail'd his boat

himself, he had a fine one presented to him by a shipjoiner, he had fowling-pieces presented to him by men

that loved him, When he went with his five sons and many grand-sons to

hunt or fish, you would pick him out as the most beau

tiful and vigorous of the gang, You would wish long and long to be with him, you would

wish to sit by him in the boat that you and he might touch each other.

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