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However shelter'd this port and however calm these waters
we must not anchor here, However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are
permitted to receive it but a little while.
Listen! I will be honest with you,
hardly settle yourself to satisfaction before you are callid
by an irresistible call to depart, You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings
of those who remain behind you, What beckonings of love you receive you shall only an
swer with passionate kisses of parting, You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their
reach'd hands toward you.
Allons ! after the great Companions, and to belong to
them! They too are on the road - they are the swift and majes
tic men they are the greatest women, Enjoyers of calms of seas and storms of seas, Sailors of many a ship, walkers of many a mile of land, Habitués of many distant countries, habitués of far-distant
dwellings, Trusters of men and women, observers of cities, solitary
toilers, Pausers and contemplators of tufts, blossoms, shells of the
shore, Dancers at wedding-dances, kissers of brides, tender helpers
of children, bearers of children, Soldiers of revolts, standers by gaping graves, lowerersJourneyers over consecutive seasons, over the years, the
down of coffins,
curious years each emerging from that which preceded it, Journeyers as with companions, namely their own diverse
phases, Forth-steppers from the latent unrealized baby-days, Journeyers gayly with their own youth, journeyers with
their bearded and well-grain'd manhood, Journeyers with their womanhood, ample, unsurpass’d,
content, Journeyers with their own sublime old age of manhood or
womanhood, Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth
of the universe, Old age, flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom
Allons ! to that which is endless as it was beginningless,
nights they tend to, Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys, To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and
To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may
reach it and pass it, To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for
you, however long but it stretches and waits for you,
go thither, To see no possession but you may possess it, enjoying all
without labor or purchase, abstracting the feast yet not
abstracting one particle of it, To take the best of the farmer's farm and the rich man's
elegant villa, and the chaste blessings of the well-married couple, and the fruits of orchards and Aowers of
gardens, To take to your use out of the compact cities as you pass
To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wher
ever you go, To gather the minds of men out of their brains as you en
counter them, to gather the love out of their hearts, To take your lovers on the road with you, for all that you
leave them behind you, To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as
roads for traveling souls. All parts away for the progress of souls, All religion, all solid things, arts, governments — all that
was or is apparent upon this globe or any globe, falls into niches and corners before the procession of souls
along the grand roads of the universe. Of the progress
of the souls of men and women along the grand roads of the universe, all other progress is the
needed emblem and sustenance. Forever alive, forever forward, Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent,
feeble, dissatisfied, Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by
men, They go! they go! I know that they go, but I know not
where they go, But I know that they go toward the best — toward some
thing great. Whoever you are, come forth! or man or woman come
forth ! You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house,
though you built it, or though it has been built for you. Out of the dark confinement ! out from behind the screen! It is useless to protest, I know all and expose it. Behold through you as bad as the rest, Through the laughter, dancing, dining, supping, of people, Inside of dresses and ornaments, inside of those wash'd and
Behold a secret silent loathing and despair.
fession, Another self, a duplicate of every one, skulking and hiding
Formless and wordless through the streets of the cities,
polite and bland in the parlors, In the cars of railroads, in steamboats, in the public as
sembly, Home to the houses of men and women, at the table, in
the bed-room, everywhere, Smartly attired, countenance smiling, form upright, death
under the breast-bones, hell under the skull-bones, Under the broadcloth and gloves, under the ribbons and
artificial flowers, Keeping fair with the customs, speaking not a syllable of
itself, Speaking of any thing else but never of itself.
Allons ! through struggles and wars !
of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater
struggle necessary. My call is the call of battle, I nourish active rebellion, He going with me must go well arm’d, He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty,
angry enemies, desertions.
Allons! the road is before us !
well be not detain'd!
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book
on the shelf unopen'd! Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money
remain unearn'd! Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher ! Let the preacher preach in his pulpit ! let the lawyer plead
in the court, and the judge expound the law. Camerado, I give you my hand ! I give you my love more precious than money, I give you myself before preaching or law; Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
A SONG OF JOYS
O the joy of a manly self-hood !
known or unknown,
chest, To confront with your personality all the other personalities
of the earth. Know'st thou the excellent joys of youth? Joys of the dear companions and of the merry word and
laughing face? Joy of the glad light-beaming day, joy of the wide-breath'd Joy of sweet music, joy of the lighted ball-room and the
dancers? Joy of the plenteous dinner, strong carouse and drinking ? Yet O my soul supreme ! Know'st thou the joys of pensive thought ? Joys of the free and lonesome heart, the tender, gloomy