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Where outside authority enters always after the precedence of

inside authority, Where the citizen is always the head and ideal, and President,

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 ;
Where the city of the faithfulest friends stands,
Where the city of the cleanliness of the sexes stands,
Where the city of the healthiest fathers stands,
Where the city of the best-bodied mothers stands,
There the great city stands.

6 How beggarly appear arguments before a defiant deed ! How the floridness of the materials of cities shrivels before a man's

or woman's look !

All waits or goes by default till a strong being appears ;
A strong being is the proof of the race and of the ability of the

When he or she appears materials are overaw'd,
The dispute on the soul stops,
The old customs and phrases are confronted, turn'd back, or laid


What is your money-making now? what can it do now?
What is your respectability now?
What are your theology, tuition, society, traditions, statute-books,

Where are your jibes of being now?
Where are your cavils about the soul now?

7 A sterile landscape covers the ore, there is as good as the best for

all the forbidding appearance, There is the mine, there are the miners, The forge-furnace is there, the melt is accomplish'd, the hammers

men are at hand with their tongs and hammers, What always served and always serves is at hand.

Than this nothing has better served, it has served all,
Served the fluent-tongued and subtle-sensed Greek, and long ere

the Greek,
Served in building the buildings that last longer than any,
Served the Hebrew, the Persian, the most ancient Hindustanee,
Served the mound-raiser on the Mississippi, served those whose

relics remain in Central America, Served Albic temples in woods or on plains, with unhewn pillars

and the druids, Served the artificial clefts, vast, high, silent, on the snow-cover'd

hills of Scandinavia, Served those who time out of mind made on the granite walls

rough sketches of the sun, moon, stars, ships, ocean waves, Served the paths of the irruptions of the Goths, served the pas

toral tribes and nomads, Served the long distant Kelt, served the hardy pirates of the Baltic, Served before any of those the venerable and harmless men of

Served the making of helms for the galleys of pleasure and the

making of those for war,
Served all great works on land and all great works on the sea,
For the mediæval ages and before the mediæval ages,
Served not the living only then as now, but served the dead.

8 I see the European headsman, He stands mask'd, clothed in red, with huge legs and strong naked

arms, And leans on a ponderous axe. (Whom have you slaughter'd lately European headsınan? Whose is that blood upon you so wet and sticky?) I see the clear sunsets of the martyrs, I see from the scaffolds the descending ghosts, Ghosts of dead lords, uncrown'd ladies, impeach'd ministers

rejected kings, Rivals, traitors, poisoners, disgraced chieftains and the rest.

I see those who in any land have died for the good cause, The seed is spare, nevertheless the crop shall never run out, (Mind you o foreign kings, O priests, the crop shall never run out)

I see the blood wash'd entirely away from the axe,
Both blade and helve are clean,

They spirt no more the blood of European nobles, they clasp no

more the necks of queens.

I see the headsman withdraw and become useless,
I see the scaffold untrodden and mouldy, I see no longer any axe

upon it, I see the mighty and friendly emblem of the power of my own

race, the newest, largest race.

9 (America ! I do not vaunt my love for you, I have what I have.)

The axe leaps !
The solid forest gives fluid utterances,
They tumble forth, they rise and form,
Hut, tent, landing, survey,
Flail, plough, pick, crowbar, spade,
Shingle, rail, prop, wainscot, jamb, lath, panel, gable,
Citadel, ceiling, saloon, academy, organ, exhibition-house, li-

brary, Cornice, trellis, pilaster, balcony, window, turret, porch, Hoe, rake, pitchfork, pencil, wagon, staff, saw, jack-plane, mallet,

wedge, rounce, Chair, tub, hoop, table, wicket, vane, sash, floor, Work-box, chest, string'd instrument, boat, frame, and what not, Capitols of States, and capitol of the nation of States, Long stately rows in avenues, hospitals for orphans or for the poor

or sick, Manhattan steamboats and clippers taking the measure of all seas.

The shapes arise !
Shapes of the using of axes anyhow, and the users and all that

neighbors them, Cutters down of wood and haulers of it to the Penobscot or Ken

nebec, Dwellers in cabins among the Californian mountains or by the little

lakes, or on the Columbia, Dwellers south on the banks of the Gila or Rio Grande, friendly

gatherings, the characters and fun, Dwellers along the St. Lawrence, or north in Kanada, or down by

the Yellowstone, dwellers on coasts and off coasts, Seal-fishers, whalers, arctic seamen breaking passages through the


The shapes arise !
Shapes of factories, arsenals, foundries, markets,
Shapes of the two-threaded tracks of railroads,
Shapes of the sleepers of bridges, vast frameworks, girders, arches,
Shapes of the fleets of barges, tows, lake and canal craft, river craft,
Ship-yards and dry-docks along the Eastern and Western seas, and

in many a bay and by-place, The live-oak kelsons, the pine planks, the spars, the hackmatack

roots for knees, The ships themselves on their ways, the tiers of scaffolds, the

workmen busy outside and inside, The tools lying around, the great auger and little auger, the adze, bolt, line, square, gouge, and


10 The shapes arise ! The shape measur'd, saw'd, jack'd, join'd, stain'd, The coffin-shape for the dead to lie within in his shroud, The shape got out in posts, in the bedstead posts, in the posts of

the bride's bed, The shape of the little trough, the shape of the rockers beneath,

the shape of the babe's cradle, The shape of the floor-planks, the floor planks for dancers' feet, The shape of the planks of the family home, the home of the

friendly parents and children, The shape of the roof of the home of the happy young man and

woman, the roof over the well-married young man and

woman, The roof over the supper joyously cook'd by the chaste wife, and

joyously eaten by the chaste husband, content after his day's work.

The shapes arise!
The shape of the prisoner's place in the court-room, and of him

or her seated in the place, The shape of the liquor-bar lean'd against by the young rum

drinker and the old rum-drinker, The shape of the shamed and angry stairs trod by sneaking foot

steps, The shape of the sly settee, and the adulterous unwholesome

couple, The shape of the gambling-board with its devilish winnings and

losings, The shape of the step-ladder for the convicted and sentenced

murderer, the murderer with haggard face and pinion'd arms The sheriff at hand with his deputies, the silent and white-lipp'd

crowd, the dangling of the rope.

The shapes arise !
Shapes of doors giving many exits and entrances,
The door passing the dissever'd friend flush'd and in haste,
The door that admits good news and bad news,
The door whence the son left home confident and puff'd up,
The door he enter'd again from a long and scandalous absence,

diseas'd, broken down, without innocence, without means.


Her shape arises,
She less guarded than ever, yet more guarded than ever,
The gross and soild she moves among do not make her gross

and soil'd, She knows the thoughts as she passes, nothing is conceal'd from her, She is none the less considerate or friendly therefor, She is the best belov'd, it is without exception, she has no reason

to fear and she does not fear, Oaths, quarrels, hiccupp'd songs, smutty expressions, are idle to

her as she passes, She is silent, she is possess'd of herself, they do not offend her, She receives them as the laws of Nature receive them, she is strong, She too is a law of Nature - there is no law stronger than she is.


The main shapes arise !
Shapes of Democracy total, result of centuries,
Shapes ever projecting other shapes,
Shapes of turbulent manly cities,
Shapes of the friends and home-givers of the whole earth,
Shapes bracing the earth and braced with the whole earth.



H little recks the laborer,

How near his work is holding him to God. The loving Laborer through space and time.)

A .

After all not to create only, or found only,

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