Page images

I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each other's necks,

By the love of comrades,

By the manly love of comrades. For you these from me, O Democracy, to serve you ma femme!


you I am trilling these songs.

For you,

And now gentlemen,
A word I give to remain in your memories and minds,
As base and finalè too for all metaphysics.
(So to the students the old professor,
At the close of his crowded course.)
Having studied the new and antique, the Greek and Ger-

manic systems, Kant having studied and stated, Fichte and Schelling and

Hegel, Stated the lore of Plato, and Socrates greater than Plato, And greater than Socrates sought and stated, Christ divine

having studied long, I see reminiscent to-day those Greek and Germanic sys

tems, See the philosophies all, Christian churches and tenets see, Yet underneath Socrates clearly see, and underneath Christ

the divine I see, The dear love of man for his comrade, the attraction of

friend to friend, Of the well-married husband and wife, of children and

Of city for city and land for land.

Recorders ages hence,
Come, I will take you down underneath this impassive

exterior, I will tell you what to say of me,

Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the

tenderest lover, The friend the lover's portrait, of whom his friend his

lover was fondest, Who was not proud of his songs, but of the measureless

ocean of love within him, and freely pour’d it forth, Who often walk'd lonesome walks thinking of his dear

friends, his lovers, Who pensive away from one he lov'd often lay sleepless

and dissatisfied at night, Who knew too well the sick, sick dread lest the one he

lov'd might secretly be indifferent to him, Whose happiest days were far away through fields, in

woods, on hills, he and another wandering hand in hand,

they twain apart from other men, Who oft as he saunter'd the streets curv'd with his arm

the shoulder of his friend, while the arm of his friend rested upon him also.

I hear it was charged against me that I sought to destroy

institutions, But really I am neither for nor against institutions, (What indeed have I in common with them? or what with

the destruction of them ?) Only I will establish in the Mannahatta and in every city

of these States inland and seaboard, And in the fields and woods, and above every keel little or

large that dents the water, Without edifices or rules or trustees or any argument, The institution of the dear love of comrades.

I dream'd in a dream I saw a city invincible to the attacks

of the whole of the rest of the earth,
I dream'd that was the new city of Friends,

Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love,

it led the rest, It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that

city, And in all their looks and words.

What think you I take my pen in hand to record ?
The battle-ship, perfect-model'd, majestic, that I saw pass

the offing to-day under full sail ? The splendors of the past day? or the splendor of the

night that envelops me? Or the vaunted glory and growth of the great city spread

around me? no; But merely of two simple men I saw to-day on the pier in

the midst of the crowd, parting the parting of dear

friends, The one to remain hung on the other's neck and passion

ately kiss'd him, While the one to depart tightly prest the one to remain in

his arms.

Among the men and women the multitude,
I perceive one picking me out by secret and divine signs,
Acknowledging none else, not parent, wife, husband,

brother, child, any nearer than I am,
Some are baffled, but that one is not that one knows me.
Ah lover and perfect equal,
I meant that

you should discover me so by faint indirections, And I when I meet you mean to discover you by the like

in you.


Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-

fortune, Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need

nothing, Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms, Strong and content I travel the open road. The earth, that is sufficient, I do not want the constellations any nearer, I know they are very well where they are, I know they suffice for those who belong to them. (Still here I carry my old delicious burdens, I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me

wherever I go, I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them, I am fill'd with them, and I will fill them in return.)

From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imag

inary lines, Going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the

holds that would hold me. I inhale great draughts of space, The east and the west are mine, and the north and the

south are mine.
I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I held so much goodness.
All seems beautiful to me,

I can repeat over to men and women You have done such

good to me I would do the same to you, I will recruit for myself and you as I go, I will scatter myself among men and women as I

go, I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them, Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me, Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall

bless me.

The efflux of the soul is happiness, here is happiness,
I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times,
Now it Aows unto us, we are rightly charged.
Here rises the Auid and attaching character,
The Auid and attaching character is the freshness and

sweetness of man and woman, (The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter

every day out of the roots of themselves, than it sprouts

fresh and sweet continually out of itself.) Toward the fluid and attaching character exudes the sweat

of the love of young and old, From it falls distillid the charm that mocks beauty and

attainments, Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact.

Allons ! whoever you are come travel with me!
Travelling with me you find what never tires.
The earth never tires,
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, Nature

is rude and incomprehensible at first, Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well

envelop’d, I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than

words can tell. Allons! we must not stop here, However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient

this dwelling we cannot remain here,

« PreviousContinue »