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To glean eidolons.
Put in thy chants said he, No more the puzzling hour nor day, nor segments, parts, put in, Put first before the rest as light for all and entrance-song of all,
That of eidolons.
Ever the dim beginning,
Eidolons ! eidolons !
Ever the mutable,
Lo, I or you,
But really build eidolons.
The ostent evanescent,
To fashion his eidolon.
Of every human life, (The units gather'd, posted, not a thought, emotion, deed, left out) The whole or large or small summ'd, added up,
In its eidólon.
The old, old urge,
The old, old urge, eidolons.
The present now and here,
These with the past,
Densities, growth, façades,
Exaltè, rapt, ecstatic,
The mighty earth-eidólon.
All space, all time, (The stars, the terrible perturbations of the suns, Swelling, collapsing, ending, serving their longer, shorter use,)
Fill'd with eidolons only.
The noiseless myriads,
The true realities, eidolons.
Not this the world,
Beyond thy lectures learn'd professor, Beyond thy telescope or spectroscope observer keen, beyond all
mathematics, Beyond the doctor's surgery, anatomy, beyond the chemist with
Unfix'd yet fix'd,
Eidolons, eidolons, eidolons.
The prophet and the bard, Shall yet maintain themselves, in higher stages yet, Shall mediate to the Modern, to Democracy, interpret yet to them,
God and eidolons.
And thee my soul,
Thy mates, eidolons.
Thy body permanent,
An image, an eidólon.
Thy very songs not in thy songs, No special strains to sing, none for itself
, But from the whole resulting, rising at last and Aoating,
A round full-orb'd eidólon.
FOR HIM I SING. FOR him I sing, I raise the present on the past, (As some perennial tree out of its roots, the present on the past,) With time and space I him dilate and fuse the immortal laws, To make himself by them the law unto himself.
WHEN I READ THE BOOK. WHEN I read the book, the biography famous, And is this then (said I) what the author calls a man's life? And so will some one when I am dead and gone write my life? (As if any man really knew aught of my life, Why even I myself I often think know little or nothing of my real
life, Only a few hints, a few diffused faint clews and indirections I seek for my own use to trace out here.)
BEGINNING MY STUDIES. BEGINNING my studies the first step pleas'd me so much, The mere fact consciousness, these forms, the power of motion, The least insect or animal, the senses, eyesight, love, The first step I say awed me and pleas'd me so much, I have hardly gone and hardly wish'd to go any farther, But stop and loiter all the time to sing it in ecstatic songs.
How they are provided for upon the earth, (appearing at inter
vals,) How dear and dreadful they are to the earth, How they inure to themselves as much as to any — what a paradox
appears their age, How people respond to them, yet know them not, How there is something relentless in their fate all times, How all times mischoose the objects of their adulation and re
ward, And how the same inexorable price must still be paid for the same
TO THE STATES.
To the States or any one of them, or any city of the States, Resist
much, obey little, Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved, Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth, ever after
ward resumes its liberty.
ON JOURNEYS THROUGH THE STATES. ON journeys through the States we start, (Ay through the world, urged by these songs, Sailing henceforth to every land, to every sea,) We willing learners of all, teachers of all, and lovers of all. We have watch'd the seasons dispensing themselves and passing
on, And have said, Why should not a man or woman do as much as
the seasons, and effuse as much?
We dwell a while in every city and town,
Mississippi, and the Southern States,
body and the soul, Dwell a while and pass on, be copious, temperate, chaste, mag
netic, And what you effuse may then return as the seasons return, And may be just as much as the seasons.
TO A CERTAIN CANTATRICE. HERE, take this gift, I was reserving it for some hero, speaker, or general, One who should serve the good old cause, the great idea, the prog.
ress and freedom of the race, Some brave confronter of despots, some daring rebel ; But I see that what I was reserving belongs to you just as much as to any.
ME IMPERTURBE. ME imperturbe, standing at ease in Nature, Master of all or mistress of all, aplomb in the midst of irrational
things, Imbued as they, passive, receptive, silent as they, Finding my occupation, poverty, notoriety, foibles, crimes, less im
portant than I thought, Me toward the Mexican sea, or in the Mannahatta or the Tennes
see, or far north or inland, A river man, or a man of the woods or of any farm-life of these
States or of the coast, or the lakes or Kanada, Me wherever my life is lived, 0 to be self-balanced for contingen
To confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as
the trees and animals do.
SAVANTISM. THITHER as I look I see each result and glory retracing itself and
nestling close, always obligated, Thither hours, months, years — thither trades, compacts, establish
ments, even the most minute, Thither every-day life, speech, utensils, politics, persons, estates; Thither we also, I with my leaves and songs, trustful, admirant, As a father to his father going takes his children along with him.
THE SHIP STARTING. Lo, the unlounded sea, On its breast a ship starting, spreading all sails, carrying even her
moonsails, The pennant is flying aloft as she speeds she speeds so stately –
below emulous waves press forward, They surround the ship with shining curving motions and foam.