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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 ;
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 ;
What is your money-making now? what can it do 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,
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
making of those for war,
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,
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,
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 !
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 !
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 !
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!
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 !
diseas'd, broken down, without innocence, without means.
Her shape arises,
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 !
SONG OF THE EXPOSITION.
H little recks the laborer,
How near his work is holding him to God. The loving Laborer through space and time.)
After all not to create only, or found only,