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Are all nations communing ? is there going to be but

one heart to the globe ? Is humanity forming en masse ?—for lo ! tyrants trem

ble, crowns grow dim; The earth, restive, confronts a new era, perhaps a

general divine war ; No one knows what will happen next—such portents

fill the days and nights. Years prophetical ! the space ahead as I walk, as I

vainly try to pierce it, is full of phantoms; Unborn deeds, things soon to be, project their shapes

around me; This incredible rush and heat-this strange ecstatic

fever of dreams, O years ! Your dreams, 0 years, how they penetrate through me!

(I know not whether I sleep or wake !) The performed America and Europe grow dim, retiring

in shadow behind me, The unperformed, more gigantic than ever, advance, ad

vance upon me.




Have you

To think of time—of all that retrospection !
To think of to-day, and the ages continued hencefor-

ward ! Have you guessed you yourself would not continue ?

dreaded these earth-beetles ? Have you feared the future would be nothing to you? Is to-day nothing? Is the beginningless past nothing? If the future is nothing, they are just as surely nothing. To think that the sun rose in the east! that men and

women were flexible, real, alive! that everything

was alive! To think that you and I did not see, feel, think, nor

bear our part ! To think that we are now here, and bear our part !


Not a day passes--not a minute or second, without an

accouchement! Not a day passes—not a minute or second, without a


The dull nights go over, and the dull days also,
The soreness of lying so much in bed goes over,
The physician, after long putting-off, gives the silent

and terrible look for an answer, The children come hurried and weeping, and the bro

thers and sisters are sent for, Medicines stand unused on the shelf—(the camphor

smell has long pervaded the rooms,) The faithful hand of the living does not desert the hand

of the dying, The twitching lips press lightly on the forehead of the

dying, The breath ceases, and the pulse of the heart ceases, The corpse stretches on the bed, and the living look

upon it,

It is palpable as the living are palpable.
The living look upon the corpse with their eyesight,
But without eyesight lingers a different living, and looks

curiously on the corpse.

3. To think the thought of Death, merged in the thought

of materials ! To think that the rivers will flow, and the snow fall, and

fruits ripen, and act upon others as upon us now

—yet not act upon us ! To think of all these wonders of city and country, and

others taking great interest in them and we

taking no interest in them! To think how eager we are in building our houses ! To think others shall be just as eager, and we quite in(I see one building the house that serves him a few


years, or seventy or eighty years at most; I see one building the house that serves him longer than

that.) Slow-moving and black lines creep over the whole

earth--they never cease—they are the burial

lines, He that was President was buried, and he that is now President shall surely be buried.

4. A reminiscence of the vulgar fate, A frequent sample of the life and death of workmen, Each after his kind. Cold dash of waves at the ferry-wharf-posh and ice in

the river, half-frozen mud in the streets, a grey discouraged sky overhead, the short last daylight

of Twelfth-month, A hearse and stages—other vehicles give place—the

funeral of an old Broadway stage-driver, the

cortege niostly drivers. Steady the trot to the cemetery, duly rattles the death

bell, the gate is passed, the new-dug grave is

halted at, the living alight, the hearse uncloses, The coffin is passed out, lowered and settled, the whip

is laid on the coffin, the earth is swiftly shovelled

in, The mound above is flatted with the spades-silence, A minute—no one moves or speaks--it is done, He is decently put away-is there anything more? He was a good fellow, free

mouthed, quick-tempered, not bad-looking, able to take his own part, witty, sensitive to a slight, ready with life or death foi a friend, fond of women, gambled, ate hearty, drank hearty, had known what it was to be flush, grew low-spirited toward the last, sickened, was helped by a contribution, died, aged forty-onę years—and that was his funeral,

Thumb extended, finger uplifted, apron, cape, gloves,

strap, wet-weather clothes, whip carefully chosen, boss, spotter, starter, hostler, somebody loafing on you, you loafing on somebody, headway, man before and man behind, good day's work, bad day's work, pet stock, mean stock, first out, last

out, turning-in at night; To think that these are so much and so nigh to other

drivers—and he there takes no interest in them!

5. The markets, the government, the working-inan's wages

-to think what account they are through our

nights and days! To think that other working-men will make just as

great account of them-yet we make little or no

account ! The vulgar and the refined—what you call sin, and

what you call goodness—to think how wide a

difference ! To think the difference will still continue to others, yet

we lie beyond the difference. To think how much pleasure there is ! Have you pleasure from looking at the sky? have you

pleasure from poems? Do you enjoy yourself in the city? or engaged in busi

ness? or planning a nomination and election ?

or with your wife and family? Or with your inother and sisters ? or in womanly house

work? or the beautiful maternal cares? — These also flow onward to others—you and I flow

onward, But in due time, you and I shall take less interest in

them. Your farm, profits, crops,-to think how engrossed you

are ! To think there will still be farms, profits, crops-yet, 6. What will be will be well--for what is is well, To take interest is well, and not to take interest shall

for you,

of what avail ?

be well.

The sky continues beautiful,
The pleasure of men with women shall never be sated,

nor the pleasure of women with men, nor the

pleasure from poems, The domestic joys, the daily housework or business, the

building of houses—these are not phantasms

they have weight, form, location ; Farms, profits, crops, markets, wages, government, are

none of them phantasms, The difference between sin and goodness is no delusion, The earth is not an echo—man and his life, and all the

things of his life, are well-considered. You are not thrown to the winds—you gather certainly

and safely around yourself; Yourself! Yourself! Yourself, for ever and ever!

7. It is not to diffuse you that you were born of your

mother and father-it is to identify you ; It is not that you should be undecided, but that you

should be decided ; Something long preparing and formless is arrived and

formed in you, You are henceforth secure, whatever comes or goes. The threads that were spun are gathered, the weft

crosses the warp, the pattern is systematic. The preparations have every one been justified, The orchestra have sufficiently tuned their instruments

—the baton has given the signal. The guest that was coming-he waited long, for reasons

- he is now housed,

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