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The hopples fall from your ankles, you find an unfailing

sufficiency, Old or young, male or female, rude, low, rejected by the

rest, whatever you are promulges itself, Through birth, life, death, burial, the means are provided,

nothing is scanted, Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui, what

you are picks its way.


Let others finish specimens, I never finish specimens,
I start them by exhaustless laws as Nature does, fresh and

modern continually. I give nothing as duties, What others give as duties I give as living impulses, (Shall I give the heart's action as a duty ?) Let others dispose of questions, I dispose of nothing, I

arouse unanswerable questions, Who are they I see and touch, and what about them? What about these likes of myself that draw me so close by

tender directions and indirections ?

I call to the world to distrust the accounts of

my friends, but listen to my enemies, as I myself do, I charge you forever reject those who would expound me,

for I cannot expound myself, I charge that there be no theory or school founded out of

me, I charge you to leave all free, as I have left all free. After me, vista! O I see life is not short, but immeasurably long, I henceforth tread the world chaste, temperate, an early

riser, a steady grower, Every hour the semen of centuries, and still of centuries.

I must follow up these continual lessons of the air, water,

earth, I perceive I have no time to lose.


Out of the cradle endlessly rocking,
Out of the mocking-bird's throat, the musical shuttle,
Out of the Ninth-month midnight,
Over the sterile sands and the fields beyond, where the

child leaving his bed wander'd alone, bareheaded, bare

foot, Down from the shower'd halo, Up from the mystic play of shadows twining and twisting

as if they were alive, Out from the patches of briers and blackberries, From the memories of the bird that chanted to me, From your memories sad brother, from the fitful risings

and fallings I heard, From under that yellow half-moon late-risen and swollen

as if with tears, From those beginning notes of yearning and love there in

the mist, From the thousand



heart never to cease,
From the myriad thence-arous'd words,
From the word stronger and more delicious than any,
From such as now they start the scene revisiting,
As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing,
Borne hither, ere all eludes me, hurriedly,
A man, yet by these tears a little boy again,
Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves,
I, chanter of pains and joys, uniter of here and hereafter,
Taking all hints to use them, but swiftly leaping beyond

them, A reminiscence sing.

Once Paumanok,
When the lilac-scent was in the air and Fifth-month grass

was growing,
Up this seashore in some briers,
Two feather'd guests from Alabama, two together,
And their nest, and four light-green eggs spotted with

brown, And every day the he-bird to and fro near at hand, And every day the she-bird crouch'd on her nest, silent,

with bright eyes, And every day I, a curious boy, never too close, never dis

turbing them,
Cautiously peering, absorbing, translating.
Shine ! shine ! shine !
Pour down your warmth, great sun !
While we bask, we two together.
Two together!
Winds blow south, or winds blow north,
Day come white, or night come black,
Home, or rivers and mountains from home,
Singing all time, minding no time,
While we two keep together.
Till of a sudden,
May-be killd, unknown to her mate,
One forenoon the she-bird crouch'd not on the nest,
Nor return'd that afternoon, nor the next,
Nor ever appear'd again.

And thenceforward all summer in the sound of the sea, And at night under the full of the moon in calmer

weather, Over the hoarse surging of the sea, Or Aitting from brier to brier by day, I saw, I heard at intervals the remaining one, the he-bird, The solitary guest from Alabama.

Blow ! blow ! blow !
Blow up sea-winds along Paumanok's shore;
I wait and I wait till


mate to me.

Yes, when the stars glisten’d,
All night long on the prong of a moss-scallop'd stake,
Down almost amid the slapping waves,
Sat the lone singer wonderful causing tears.
He call'd on his mate,
He pour'd forth the meanings which I of all men know.
Yes my brother I know,
The rest might not, but I have treasur'd every note,
For more than once dimly down to the beach gliding,
Silent, avoiding the moonbeams, blending myself with the

shadows, Recalling now the obscure shapes, the echoes, the sounds

and sights after their sorts, The white arms out in the breakers tirelessly tossing, I, with bare feet, a child, the wind wafting my hair, Listen'd long and long. Listen’d to keep, to sing, now translating the notes, Following you my brother. Soothe ! soothe ! soothe ! Close on its wave soothes the wave behind, And again another behind embracing and lapping, every one

close, But my love soothes not me, not me. Low hangs the moon, it rose late, It is lagging - 0 I think it is heavy with love, with love. O madly the sea pushes upon the land, With love, with love. O night! do I not see my love fluttering out among the

breakers ?

What is that little black thing I see there in the white?
Loud! loud! loud !
Loud I call to you, my love !
High and clear I shoot my voice over the waves,
Surely you must know who is here, is here,
You must know who I am, my love.
Low-hanging moon!
What is that dusky spot in your brown yellow ?
O it is the shape, the shape of my mate !
O moon do not keep her from me any longer.
Land ! land ! O land !
Whichever way I turn, 0 I think you could give me my mate

back again if you only would,
For I am almost sure I see her dimly whichever way

I look. O rising stars ! Perhaps the one I want so much will rise, will rise with some

of you.

O throat ! O trembling throat !
Sound clearer through the atmosphere !
Pierce the woods, the earth,
Somewhere listening to catch you must be the one I want.
Shake out carols !
Solitary here, the night's carols !
Carols of lonesome love! death's carols !
Carols under that lagging, yellow, waning moon!
O under that moon where she droops almost down into the sea !
O reckless despairing carols.
But soft! sink low !
Soft ! let me just murmur,
Ånd do you wait a moment you husky-nois'd sea,
For somewhere I believe I heard my mate responding to me,
So faint, I must be still, be still to listen,
But not altogether still, for then she might not come immediately

to me.

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