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O to struggle against great odds, to meet enemies undaunted !
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!
To leave this steady unendurable land,
To leave the tiresome sameness of the streets, the sidewalks 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 !
To dance, clap hands, exult, shout, skip, leap, roll on, 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.


EAPON shapely, naked, wan,

drawn. Wooded Aesh and metal bone, limb only one and lip only one, Gray-blue leaf by red-heat grown, helve produced from a little

seed sown, Resting the grass amid and upon, To be lean'd and to lean on.

Strong shapes and attributes of strong shapes, masculine trades,

sights and sounds, Long varied train of an emblem, dabs of music, Fingers of the organist skipping staccato over the keys of the

great organ.

Welcome are all earth's lands, each for its kind,
Welcome are lands of pine and oak,
Welcome are lands of the lemon and fig,
Welcome are lands of gold,

Welcome are lands of wheat and maize, welcome those of the

grape, Welcome are lands of sugar and rice, Welcome the cotton-lands, welcome those of the white potato

and sweet potato,
Welcome are mountains, flats, sands, forests, prairies,
Welcome the rich borders of rivers, table-lands, openings,
Welcome the measureless grazing-lands, welcome the teeming soil

of orchards, flax, honey, hemp ;
Welcome just as much the other more hard-faced lands,
Lands rich as lands of gold or wheat and fruit lands,
Lands of mines, lands of the manly and rugged ores,
Lands of coal, copper, lead, tin, zinc,
Lands of iron — lands of the make of the axe.

3 The log at the wood-pile, the axe supported by it, The sylvan hut, the vine over the doorway, the space clear'd for a

garden, The irregular tapping of rain down on the leaves after the storm

is lull'd, The wailing and moaning at intervals, the thought of the sea, The thought of ships struck in the storm and put on their beam

ends, and the cutting away of masts, The sentiment of the huge timbers of old-fashion'd houses and

barns, The remember'd print or narrative, the voyage at a venture of

men, families, goods, The disembarkation, the founding of a new city, The voyage of those who sought a New England and found it, the

outset anywhere, The settlements of the Arkansas, Colorado, Ottawa, Willamette, The slow progress, the scant fare, the axe, rifle, saddle-bags; The beauty of all adventurous and daring persons, The beauty of wood-boys and wood-men with their clear un

trimm'd faces, The beauty of independence, departure, actions that rely on

themselves, The American contempt for statutes and ceremonies, the bound

less impatience of restraint, The loose drift of character, the inkling through random types,

the solidification; The butcher in the slaughter-house, the hands aboard schooners

and sloops, the raftsman, the pioneer,

Lumbermen in their winter camp, daybreak in the woods, stripes

of snow on the limbs of trees, the occasional snapping, The glad clear sound of one's own voice, the merry song, the

natural life of the woods, the strong day's work, The blazing fire at night, the sweet taste of supper, the talk, the

bed of hemlock-boughs and the bear-skin; The house-builder at work in cities or anywhere, The preparatory jointing, squaring, sawing, mortising, The hoist-up of beams, the push of them in their places, laying

them regular, Setting the studs by their tenons in the mortises according as they

were prepared, The blows of mallets and hammers, the attitudes of the men,

their curv'd limbs, Bending, standing, astride the beams, driving in pins, holding on

by posts and braces, The hook'd arm over the plate, the other arm wielding the axe, The floor-men forcing the planks close to be nail'd, Their postures bringing their weapons downward on the bearers, The echoes resounding through the vacant building; The huge storehouse carried up in the city well under way, The six framing-men, two in the middle and two at each end,

carefully bearing on their shoulders a heavy stick for a

cross-beam, The crowded line of masons with trowels in their right hands

rapidly laying the long side-wall, two hundred feet from

front to rear, The flexible rise and fall of backs, the continual click of the

trowels striking the bricks, The bricks one after another each laid so workmanlike in its

place, and set with a knock of the trowel-handle, The piles of materials, the mortar on the mortar-boards, and the

steady replenishing by the hod-men ; Spar-makers in the spar-yard, the swarming row of well-grown

apprentices, The swing of their axes on the square-hew'd log shaping it toward

the shape of a mast, The brisk short crackle of the steel driven slantingly into the pine, The butter-color'd chips flying off in great flakes and slivers, The limber motion of brawny young arms and hips in easy cos

tumes, The constructor of wharves, bridges, piers, bulk-heads, floats,

stays against the sea; The city fireman, the fire that suddenly bursts forth in the close

pack'd square,


The arriving engines, the hoarse shouts, the nimble stepping and

daring, The strong command through the fire-trumpets, the falling in line,

the rise and fall of the arms forcing the water, The slender, spasmic, blue-white jets, the bringing to bear of the

hooks and ladders and their execution, The crash and cut away of connecting wood-work, or through

floors if the fire smoulders under them, The crowd with their lit faces watching, the glare and dense

shadows; The forger at his forge-furnace and the user of iron after him, The maker of the axe large and small, and the welder and tem

perer, The chooser breathing his breath on the cold steel and trying the

edge with his thumb, The one who clean-shapes the handle and sets it firmly in the The shadowy processions of the portraits of the past users also, The primal patient mechanics, the architects and engineers, The far-off Assyrian edifice and Mizra edifice, The Roman lictors preceding the consuls, The antique European warrior with his axe in combat, The uplifted arm, the clatter of blows on the helmeted head, The death-howl, the limpsy tumbling body, the rush of friend and

foe thither, The siege of revolted lieges determin'd for liberty, The summons to surrender, the battering at castle gates, the truce

and parley, The sack of an old city in its time, The bursting in of mercenaries and bigots tumultuously and

disorderly, Roar, flames, blood, drunkenness, madness, Goods freely rified from houses and temples, screams of women in

the gripe of brigands, Craft and thievery of camp-followers, men running, old persons

The hell of war, the cruelties of creeds,
The list of all executive deeds and words just or unjust,
The power of personality just or unjust.

Muscle and pluck forever!
What invigorates life invigorates death,
And the dead advance as much as the living advance,
And the future is no more uncertain than the present,

For the roughness of the earth and of man encloses as much as

the delicatesse of the earth and of man, And nothing endures but personal qualities. What do you think endures? Do you think a great city endures ? Or a teeming manufacturing state? or a prepared constitution? or

the best built steamships? Or hotels of granite and iron? or any chef-d'oeuvres of engineering,

forts, armaments?

Away! these are not to be cherish'd for themselves,
They fill their hour, the dancers dance, the musicians play for

The show passes, all does well enough of course,
All does very well till one flash of defiance.

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 whole world.

5 The place where a great city stands is not the place of stretch'd

wharves, docks, manufactures, deposits of produce 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,

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