« PreviousContinue »
Joys of the solitary walk, the spirit bow'd yet proud, the
suffering and the struggle ? The agonistic throes, the ecstasies, joys of the solemn
musings day or night Joys of the thought of Death, the great spheres Time and
Space ? Prophetic joys of better, loftier love's ideals, the divine
wife, the sweet, eternal, perfect comrade? Joys all thine own undying one, joys worthy thee O soul. O while I live to be the ruler of life, not a slave, To meet life as a powerful conqueror, No fumes, no ennui, no more complaints or scornful
criticisms, To these proud laws of the air, the water and the ground,
proving my interior soul impregnable, And nothing exterior shall ever take command of me. For not life's joys alone I sing, repeating — the joy of
death! The beautiful touch of Death, soothing and benumbing a
few moments, for reasons, Myself discharging my excrementitious body to be burn'd,
or render'd to powder, or buried, My real body doubtless left to me for other spheres, My voided body nothing more to me, returning to the
purifications, further offices, eternal uses of the earth. O to attract by more than attraction! How it is I know not —yet behold! the something which
obeys none of the rest, It is offensive, never defensive — yet how magnetic it
O to struggle against great odds, to meet enemies un
daunted! To be entirely alone with them, to find how much one can
stand! To look strife, torture, prison, popular odium, face to face!
To mount the scaffold, to advance to the muzzles of guns
with perfect nonchalance ! To be indeed a God!
O to sail to sea in a ship!
walks and the houses, To leave you O you solid motionless land, and entering
a ship, To sail and sail and sail !
O to have life henceforth a poem of new joys !
float on! To be a sailor of the world bound for all ports, A ship itself, (see indeed these sails I spread to the sun
and air, A swift and swelling ship full of rich words, full of joys.
SONG OF THE BROAD-AXE
A great city is that which has the greatest men and
women, If it be a few ragged huts it is still the greatest city in the
The place where a great city stands is not the place of
stretch'd wharves, docks, manufactures, deposits of prod
uce merely, Nor the place of ceaseless salutes of new-comers or the
anchor-lifters of the departing, Nor the place of the tallest and costliest buildings or shops
selling goods from the rest of the earth, Nor the place of the best libraries and schools, nor the
place where money is plentiest, Nor the place of the most numerous population.
Where the city stands with the brawniest breed of orators
and bards, Where the city stands that is belov'd by these, and loves
them in return and understands them, Where no monuments exist to heroes but in the common
words and deeds, Where thrift is in its place, and prudence is in its place, Where the men and women think lightly of the laws, Where the slave ceases, and the master of slaves ceases, Where the populace rise at once against the never-ending
audacity of elected persons, Where fierce men and women pour forth as the sea to the
whistle of death pours its sweeping and unript waves, Where outside authority enters always after the precedence
of inside authority, Where the citizen is always the head and ideal, and Presi
dent, Mayor, Governor and what not, are agents for
pay, Where children are taught to be laws to themselves, and
to depend on themselves, Where equanimity is illustrated in affairs, Where speculations on the soul are encouraged, Where women walk in public processions in the streets
the same as the men, Where they enter the public assembly and take places the
same as the men,
How beggarly appear arguments before a defiant deed!
a man's or woman's look!
All waits or goes by default till a strong being appears ;
When he or she appears materials are overaw'd,
books, now? Where are your jibes of being now? Where are your cavils about the soul now?
SONG OF THE EXPOSITION
(Ah little recks the laborer,
Old World !
Come Muse migrate from Greece and Ionia,
Repeat at Jerusalem, place the notice high on Jaffa's gate
and on Mount Moriah, The same on the walls of your German, French and
Spanish castles, and Italian collections, For know a better, fresher, busier sphere, a wide, untried
domain awaits, demands you.
Responsive to our summons,
them retain her ? Nor shades of Virgil and Dante, nor myriad memories,
poems, old associations, magnetize and hold on to her? But that she's left them all and here? Yes, if you will allow me to say so, 1, my friends, if you do not, can plainly see her, The same undying soul of earth’s, activity's, beauty's,
heroism's expression, Out from her evolutions hither come, ended the strata of
her former themes, Hidden and cover’d by to-day's, foundation of to-day's, Ended, deceas’d through time, her voice by Castaly's
fountain, Silent the broken-lipp'd Sphynx in Egypt, silent all those
century-baffling tombs, Ended for aye the epics of Asia's, Europe's helmeted war
riors, ended the primitive call of the muses, Calliope's call forever closed, Clio, Melpomene, Thalia
dead, Ended the stately rhythmus of Una and Oriana, ended the
quest of the holy Graal,