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By my life-lumps ! becoming already a creator,
42 A call in the midst of the crowd, My own voice, orotund sweeping and final. Come my children, Come my boys and girls, my women, household and intimates, Now the performer launches his nerve, he has pass'd his prelude
on the reeds within.
Easily written loose-finger'd chords – I feel the thrum of your
climax and close.
Ever the hard unsunk ground,
ever the air and the ceaseless tides, Ever myself and my neighbors, refreshing, wicked, real, Ever the old inexplicable query, ever that thorn'd thumb, that
breath of itches and thirsts, Ever the vexer's hoot! hoot! till we find where the sly one huis
and bring him forth, Ever love, ever the sobbing liquid of life, Ever the bandage under the chin, ever the trestles of death. Here and there with dimes on the eyes walking, To feed the greed of the belly the brains liberally spooning, Tickets buying, taking, selling, but in to the feast never once going, Many sweating, ploughing, thrashing, and then the chaff for pay
ment receiving, A few idly owning, and they the wheat continually claiming. This is the city and I am one of the citizens, Whatever interests the rest interests me, politics, wars, markets,
newspapers, schools, The mayor and councils, banks, tariffs, steamships, factories, stocks,
stores, real estate and personal estate.
The little plentiful manikins skipping around in collars and tail'd I am aware who they are, (they are positively not worms or fleas,) I acknowledge the duplicates of myself, the weakest and shallowest
is deathless with me, What I do and say the same waits for them, Every thought that flounders in me the same flounders in them. I know perfectly well my own egotism, Know my omnivorous lines and must not write any less, And would fetch you whoever you are flush with myself
. Not words of routine this song of mine, But abruptly to question, to leap beyond yet nearer bring; This printed and bound book — but the printer and the printing
office boy? The well-taken photographs - but your wife or friend close and
solid in your arms? The black ship mail'd with iron, her mighty guns in her turrets
but the pluck of the captain and engineers ? In the houses the dishes and fare and furniture — but the host and
hostess, and the look out of their eyes?
43 I do not despise you priests, all time, the world over, My faith is the greatest of faiths and the least of faiths, Enclosing worship ancient and modern and all between ancient
and modern, Believing I shall come again upon the earth after five thousand
years, W'aiting responses from oracles, honoring the gods, saluting the
sun, Making a fetich of the first rock or stump, powowing with sticks in
the circle of obis, Helping the llama or brahmin as he trims the lamps of the idols, Dancing yet through the streets in a phallic procession, rapt and
austere in the woods a gymnosophist, Drinking mead from the skull-cup, to Shastas and Vedas admirant,
minding the Koran, Walking the teokallis, spotted with gore from the stone and knife,
beating the serpent-skin drum, Accepting the Gospels, accepting him that was crucified, knowing
assuredly that he is divine,
To the mass kneeling or the puritan's prayer rising, or sitting
patiently in a pew, Ranting and frothing in my insane crisis, or waiting dead-like till
my spirit arouses me, Looking forth on pavement and land, or outside of pavement and
land, Belonging to the winders of the circuit of circuits.
One of that centripetal and centrifugal gang I turn and talk like a
man leaving charges before a journey.
Down-hearted doubters dull and excluded,
despair and unbelief.
How the flukes splash!
Be at peace bloody flukes of doubters and sullen mopers,
I do not know what is untried and afterward,
a single one can it fail.
and was never seen again, Nor the old man who has lived without purpose, and feels it with
bitterness worse than gall, Nor him in the poor house tubercled by rum and the bad dis
order, Nor the numberless slaughter'd and wreck'd, nor the brutish koboo
call'd the ordure of humanity, Nor the sacs merely floating with open mouths for food to slip in, Nor any thing in the earth, or down in the oldest graves of the Nor any thing in the myriads of spheres, nor the myriads of
myriads that inhabit them, Nor the present, nor the least wisp that is known.
44 It is time to explain myself - let us stand up.
What is known I strip away,
The clock indicates the moment - but what does eternity indicate ?
sister? I am sorry for you, they are not murderous or jealous upon me, All has been gentle with me, I keep no account with lamentation, (What have I to do with lamentation ?)
I am an acme of things accomplish'd, and I an encloser of things
My feet strike an apex of the apices of the stairs,
Rise after rise bow the phantoms behind me,
Immense have been the preparations for me,
Cycles ferried my cradle, rowing and rowing like cheerful boatmen,
For it the nebula cohered to an orb,
it with care. All forces have been steadily employ'd to complete and delight me, Now on this spot I stand with my robust soul.
45 O span of youth ! ever-push'd elasticity! O manhood, balanced, forid and full.
My lovers suffocate me,
at night, Crying by day Ahoy! from the rocks of the river, swinging and
chirping over my head, Calling my name from flower-beds, vines, tangled underbrush, Lighting on every moment of my life, Bussing my body with soft balsamic busses, Noiselessly passing handfuls out of their hearts and giving them
to be mine. Old age superbly rising ! O welcome, ineffable grace of dying
days! Every condition promulges not only itself, it promulges what grows
after and out of itself, And the dark hush promulges as much as any. I open my scuttle at night and see the far-sprinkled systems, And all I see multiplied as high as I can cipher edge but the rim
of the farther systems.
Wider and wider they spread, expanding, always expanding,