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By my life-lumps ! becoming already a creator,
Putting myself here and now to the ambush'd womb of the shadows

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.
My head slues round on my neck,
Music rolls, but not from the organ,
Folks are around me, but they are no household of mine.

Ever the hard unsunk ground,
Ever the eaters and drinkers, ever the upward and downward sun,

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

coats,

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?
The sky up there — yet here or next door, or across the way?
The saints and sages in history — but you yourself ?
Sermons, creeds, theology - but the fathomless human brain,
And what is reason ? and what is love? and what is life?

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,
Frivolous, sullen, moping, angry, affected, dishearten'd, atheistical,
I know every one of you, I know the sea of torment, doubt,

despair and unbelief.

How the flukes splash!
How they contort rapid as lightning, with spasms and spouts of

blood !

Be at peace bloody flukes of doubters and sullen mopers,
I take my place among you as much as among any,
The past is the push of you, me, all, precisely the same,
And what is yet untried and afterward is for you, me, all, precisely

the same.

I do not know what is untried and afterward,
But I know it will in its turn prove sufficient, and cannot fail.
Each who passes is consider'd, each who stops is consider'd, not

a single one can it fail.
It cannot fail the young man who died and was buried,
Nor the young woman who died and was put by his side,
Nor the little child that peep'd in at the door, and then drew back

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

earth,

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,
I launch all men and women forward with me into the Unknown.

The clock indicates the moment - but what does eternity indicate ?
We have thus far exhausted trillions of winters and summers,
There are trillions ahead, and trillions ahead of them.
Births have brought us richness and variety,
And other births will bring us richness and variety.
I do not call one greater and one smaller,
That which fills its period and place is equal to any.
Were mankind murderous or jealous upon you, my brother, my

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

to be.

My feet strike an apex of the apices of the stairs,
On every step bunches of ages, and larger bunches between the

steps,
All below duly traveld, and still I mount and mount.

Rise after rise bow the phantoms behind me,
Afar down I see the huge first Nothing, I know I was even there,
I waited unseen and always, and slept through the lethargic mist,
And took my time, and took no hurt from the fetid carbon.
Long I was hugg'd close -- long and long.

Immense have been the preparations for me,
Faithful and friendly the arms that have help'd me.

Cycles ferried my cradle, rowing and rowing like cheerful boatmen,
For room to me stars kept aside in their own rings,
They sent influences to look after what was to hold me.
Before I was born out of my mother generations guided me,
My embryo has never been torpid, nothing could overlay it.

For it the nebula cohered to an orb,
The long slow strata piled to rest it on,
Vast vegetables gave it sustenance,
Monstrous sauroids transported it in their mouths and deposited

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,
Crowding my lips, thick in the pores of my skin,
Jostling me through streets and public halls, coming naked to 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,
Outward and outward and forever outward.

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