When the psalm sings, instead of the singer;
When the script preaches, instead of the preacher;
When the pulpit descends and goes, instead of the carver that carved the
supporting desk;
When I can touch the body of books, by night or by day, and when they touch
my body back again;

In the best poems reappears the body, man's or woman's, well-shaped,
natural, gay;
Every part able, active, receptive, without shame or the need of shame.
Air, soil, water, fire—these are words; I myself am a word with them—my qualities interpenetrate with theirs—my name is nothing to them; Though it were told in the three thousand languages, what would air, soil, water, fire, know of my name?

Why reclining, interrogating? Why myself and all drowsing?
What deepening twilight! Scum floating atop of the waters!

Meanwhile, corpses lie in new-made graves—bloody corpses of young men;
The rope of the gibbet hangs heavily, the bullets of princes are flying,
the creatures of power laugh aloud,
And all these things bear fruits—and they are good.
Those corpses of young men,
Those martyrs that hang from the gibbets—those hearts pierced by the grey

I hear the rhythmic myths of the Greeks, and the strong legends of the
I hear the tale of the divine life and bloody death of the beautiful God,
the Christ;
I hear the Hindoo teaching his favourite pupil the loves, wars, adages,

And the staffs all splintered and broken.
I saw battle-corpses, myriads of them,

Of the visages of things—And of piercing through to the accepted hells
Of ugliness—To me there is just as much in it as there is in
beauty—And now the ugliness of human beings is acceptable to me.
Of detected persons—To me, detected persons are not, in any respect, worse
than undetected persons—and are not in any respect worse than I am

In the strength and flush of manhood,
In the grandeur and exquisiteness of old age,
In the superb vistas of Death.
Wonderful to depart;
Wonderful to be here!
The heart, to jet the all-alike and innocent blood,

In my walks home late at night, or as I lay in my bed, they came upon me.
I too had been struck from the float for ever held in solution, I too had
received identity by my Body;

The tinge awakes over the willow-tree and the mulberry-tree,
The he-birds carol mornings and evenings, while the she-birds sit on their
The young of poultry break through the hatched eggs,

Therefore let none expect mercy—Have the seasons, gravitation, the
appointed days, mercy?—No more have I;
But as the seasons, and gravitation—and as all the appointed days, that
forgive not,
I dispense from this side judgments inexorable, without the least remorse.
Consolator most mild, the promised one advancing,

As to-day, from one side, the Princes of Asia come to you;
As to-morrow, from the other side, the Queen of England sends her eldest
son to you.

The rest might not—but I have treasured every note;
For once, and more than once, dimly, down to the beach gliding,
Silent, avoiding the moonbeams, blending myself with the shadows,
Recalling now the obscure shapes, the echoes, the sounds and sights after
their sorts,
The white arms out in the breakers tirelessly tossing,
I, with bare feet, a child, the wind wafting my hair,
Listened long and long.


Was somebody asking to see the Soul? See! your own shape and countenance—persons, substances, beasts, the trees, the running rivers, the rocks and sands.

All hold spiritual joys, and afterwards loosen them:

The past and the present indicate that it is good.
How beautiful and perfect are the animals! How perfect is my Soul!
How perfect the earth, and the minutest thing upon it!
What is called good is perfect, and what is called bad is just as perfect,
The vegetables and minerals are all perfect, and the imponderable fluids
are perfect;

All music is what awakes from you, when you are reminded by the
It is not the violins and the cornets—it is not the oboe nor the beating
drums, nor the score of the baritone singer singing his sweet
romanza—nor that of the men's chorus, nor that of the women's

and understands them;
Where no monuments exist to heroes but in the common words and deeds;
Where thrift is in its place, and prudence is in its place;
Where the men and women think lightly of the laws;
Where the slave ceases, and the master of slaves ceases;
Where the populace rise at once against the never-ending audacity of

ladders, and their execution,
The crash and cut-away of connecting woodwork, or through floors, if the
fire smoulders under them,
The crowd with their lit faces, watching—the glare and dense shadows;
—The forger at his forge-furnace, and the user of iron after him,
The maker of the axe large and small, and the welder and temperer,

the old ones;
Coming among the new ones myself, to be their companion and equal—coming
personally to you now;
Enjoining you to acts, characters, spectacles, with me.

With me, with firm holding—yet haste, haste on.

And behind the weapons countless dissatisfied faces:
And a song make I, of the One formed out of all;
The fanged and glittering one whose head is over all;
Resolute, warlike one, including and over all;
However high the head of any else, that head is over all.
I will acknowledge contemporary lands;
I will trail the whole geography of the globe, and salute courteously every

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