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Revolt! and the bullet for tyrants !
Did we think victory great?
So it is—But now it seems to me, when it cannot be

helped, that defeat is great, And that death and dismay are great.



A great year and place;
A harsh, discordant, natal scream out-sounding, to

touch the Mother's heart closer than any yet.
I walked the shores of my Eastern Sea,
Heard over the waves the little voice,
Saw the divine infant, where she woke, mournfully wail-

ing, amid the roar of cannon, curses, shouts,

crash of falling buildings; Was not so sick from the blood in the gutters running

—nor from the single corpses, nor those in heaps,

nor those borne away in the tumbrils ; Was not so desperate at the battues of death—was not

so shocked at the repeated fusillades of the guns.


Pale, silent, stern, what could I say to that long-accrued

retribution ?
Could I wish humanity different?
Could I wish the people made of wood and stone ?
Or that there be no justice in destiny or time?

3. O Liberty! O mate for me! Here too the blaze, the grape-shot and the axe, in re

serve, to fetch them out in case of need, Here too, though long repressed, can never be destroyed; Here too could rise at last, murdering and ecstatic; Here too demanding full arrears of vengeance.

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4. Hence I sign this salute over the sea, And I do not deny that terrible red birth and baptism, But remember the little voice that I heard wailing—and

wait with perfect trust, no matter how long ; And from to-day, sad and cogent, I maintain the be

queathed cause, as for all lands, And I send these words to Paris with my love, And I guess some chansonniers there will understand

them, For I guess there is latent music yet in France—floods

of it. Oh I hear already the bustle of instruments, they will

soon be drowning all that would interrupt them, Oh I think the east wind brings a triumphal and free

march, It reaches hither-it swells me to joyful madness,-I will run transpose it in words, to justify it, I will yet sing a song


you, ma fenime!

TO YOU. WHOEVER you are, I fear you are walking the walks of

dreams, I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under

your feet and hands; Even now, your features, joys, speech, house, trade,

manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away


you, Your true Soul and Body appear before me, They stand forth out of affairs-out of commerce, shops,

law, science, work, farms, clothes, the house, medicine, print, buying, selling, eating, drinking,

suffering, dying Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you,


my poem ; I whisper with my lips close to your ear, I have loved many women and men, but I love none

better than you.

Oh I have been dilatory and dumb;
I should have made my way straight to you long ago ;
I should have blabbed nothing but you, I should have

chanted nothing but you.
I will leave all, and come and make the hymns of you;
None have understood you, but I understand you;
None have done justice to you—you have not done

justice to yourself; None but have found you imperfect-I only find no im

perfection in you; None but would subordinate you—I only am he who

will never consent to subordinate you; I only am he who places over you no master, owner,

better, God, beyond what waits intrinsically in

yourself. Painters have painted their swarming groups, and the

centre figure of all, From the head of the centre figure spreading a nimbus

of gold-coloured light ; But I paint myriads of heads, but paint no head with

out its nimbus of gold-coloured light; From my hand, from the brain of every man and womai

it streams, effulgently flowing for ever. Oh I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you You have not known what you are—you have slumbered

upon yourself all your life; Your eyelids have been the same as closed most of the

time; What you have done returns already in mockeries; Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not return

in mockeries, what is their return? The mockeries are not you ; Underneath them, and within then, I see you lurk; I pursue you where none else has pursued you ; Silence, the desk, the flippant expression, the night, the

accustomed routine, if these conceal you from others, or from yourself, they do not conceal you from me ;

The shaved face, the unsteady eye, the impure com

plexion, if these balk others, they do not balk

me ; The pert apparel, the deformed attitude, drunkenness,

greed, premature death, all these I part aside. There is no endowment in man or woman that is not

tallied in you ; There is no virtue, no beauty, in man or woman, but as

good is in you ; No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is in

you ; No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal pleasure

waits for you. As for me, I give nothing to any one, except I give

the like carefully to you; I sing the songs of the glory of none, not God, sooner

than I sing the songs of the glory of you. Whoever you are! claim

your own at


hazard ! These shows of the east and west are tame, coinpared

to you; These immense meadows-these interminable rivers,

you are immense and interminable as they ; These furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature,

throes of apparent dissolution-you are he or

she who is master or mistress over them, Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, ele

ments; pain, passion, dissolution. The hopples fall from your ankles—you find an unfail

ing sufficiency; Old or young, male or female, rude, low, rejected by

the rest, whatever you are promulges itself; Through birth, life, death, burial, the means are pro

vided, nothing is scanted; Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui,

what you are picks its way.

YEARS OF THE MODERN. YEARS of the modern ! years of the unperformed ! Your horizon rises—I see it parting away for more

august dramas; I see not America only—I see not only Liberty's nation,

but other nations preparing; I see tremendous entrances and exits—I see new com

binations—I see the solidarity of races ; I see that force advancing with irresistible power on the

world's stage ; (Have the old forces, the old wars, played their parts ?

are the acts suitable to them closed ?) I see Freedom, completely armed, and victorious, and

very haughty, with Law on one side, and Peace

on the other, A stupendous Trio, all issuing forth against the idea of

caste ; -What historic denouements are these we so rapidly

approach? I see men marching and countermarching by swift mil

lions ; I see the frontiers and boundaries of the old aristocracies

broken; I see the landmarks of European kings removed ; I see this day the People beginning their landmarks,

(all others give way ;) - Never were such sharp questions asked as this day ; Never was average man, his soul, more energetic, more

like a God. Lo! how he urges and urges, leaving the masses no


His daring foot is on land and sea everywhere—he col

onizes the Pacific, the Archipelagoes; With the steam-ship, the electric telegraph, the news

paper, the wholesale engines of war, With these, and the world-spreading factories, he inter

links all geography, all lands. - What whispers are these, O lands, running ahead of

you, passing under the seas ?


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