Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

When Broadway is entirely given up to foot-passengers and footstanders, when the mass is densest,

When the façades of the houses are alive with people, when eyes gaze riveted tens of thousands at a time,

When the guests from the islands advance, when the pageant moves forward visible,

When the summons is made, when the answer that waited thousands of years answers,

I too arising, answering, descend to the pavements, merge with the crowd, and gaze with them.

2

Superb-faced Manhattan !

Comrade Americanos! to us, then at last the Orient comes.

To us, my city,

Where our tall-topt marble and iron beauties range on opposite sides, to walk in the space between,

To-day our Antipodes comes.

The Originatress comes,

The nest of languages, the bequeather of poems, the race of eld,
Florid with blood, pensive, rapt with musings, hot with passion,
Sultry with perfume, with ample and flowing garments,

With sunburnt visage, with intense soul and glittering eyes,
The race of Brahma comes.

See my cantabile! these and more are flashing to us from the procession,

As it moves changing, a kaleidoscope divine it moves changing before us.

For not the envoys nor the tann'd Japanee from his island only, Lithe and silent the Hindoo appears, the Asiatic continent itself appears, the past, the dead,

The murky night-morning of wonder and fable inscrutable,
The envelop'd mysteries, the old and unknown hive-bees,

The north, the sweltering south, eastern Assyria, the Hebrews, the
ancient of ancients,

Vast desolated cities, the gliding present, all of these and more are in the pageant-procession.

Geography, the world, is in it,

The Great Sea, the brood of islands, Polynesia, the coast beyond,
The coast you henceforth are facing-you Libertad! from your
Western golden shores,

1

[ocr errors]

The countries there with their populations, the millions en-masse

are curiously here,

The swarming market-places, the temples with idols ranged along the sides or at the end, bonze, brahmin, and llama, Mandarin, farmer, merchant, mechanic, and fisherman, The singing-girl and the dancing-girl, the ecstatic persons, the secluded emperors,

Confucius himself, the great poets and heroes, the warriors, the castes, all,

Trooping up, crowding from all directions, from the Altay mountains,

From Thibet, from the four winding and far-flowing rivers of China,

From the southern peninsulas and the demi-continental islands, from Malaysia,

These and whatever belongs to them palpable show forth to me, and are seiz'd by me,

And I am seiz'd by them, and friendlily held by them,

Till as here them all I chant, Libertad! for themselves and for

you.

For I too raising my voice join the ranks of this pageant,

I am the chanter, I chant aloud over the pageant,

I chant the world on my Western sea,

I chant copious the islands beyond, thick as stars in the sky,

I chant the new empire grander than any before, as in a vision it comes to me,

I chant America the mistress, I chant a greater supremacy,

I chant projected a thousand blooming cities yet in time on those groups of sea-islands,

My sail-ships and steam-ships threading the archipelagoes,

My stars and stripes fluttering in the wind,

Commerce opening, the sleep of ages having done its work, races

reborn, refresh'd,

Lives, works resumed - the object I know not - but the old, the Asiatic renew'd as it must be,

Commencing from this day surrounded by the world.

3

And you Libertad of the world!

You shall sit in the middle well-pois'd thousands and thousands of

years,

As to-day from one side the nobles of Asia come to you,

As to-morrow from the other side the queen of England sends her eldest son to you.

The sign is reversing, the orb is enclosed,
The ring is circled, the journey is done,

The box-lid is but perceptibly open'd, nevertheless the perfume
pours copiously out of the whole box.

[ocr errors]

Young Libertad! with the venerable Asia, the all-mother,
Be considerate with her now and ever hot Libertad, for you are all,
Bend your proud neck to the long-off mother now sending mes-
sages over the archipelagoes to you,

Bend your proud neck low for once, young Libertad.

Were the children straying westward so long? so wide the tramping? Were the precedent dim ages debouching westward from Paradise so long?

Were the centuries steadily footing it that way, all the while unknown, for you, for reasons?

They are justified, they are accomplish'd, they shall now be turn'd
the other way also, to travel toward you thence,
They shall now also march obediently eastward for your sake

Libertad.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

OUT OF THE CRADLE ENDLESSLY ROCKING.

OUT of the cradle endlessly rocking,

Out of the mocking-bird's throat, the musical shuttle,
Out of the Ninth-month midnight,

Over the sterile sands and the fields beyond, where the child leaving his bed wander'd alone, bareheaded, barefoot,

Down from the shower'd halo,

Up from the mystic play of shadows twining and twisting as if they were alive,

Out from the patches of briers and blackberries,

From the memories of the bird that chanted to me,

From your memories sad brother, from the fitful risings and fallings I heard,/

From under that yellow half-moon late-risen/and swollen as if with

tears,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

any

From those beginning notes of yearning and love there in the mist
From the thousand responses of my heart never to cease,
From the myriad thence-arous'd words,
From the word stronger and more delicious than
From such as now they start the scene revisiting,
As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing,
Borne hither ere all eludes me, hurriedly
A man, yet by these tears a little boy again,
Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves,
I/chanter of pains and joys, uniter of here and hereafter,
Taking all hints to use them, but swiftly leaping beyond them,
A reminiscence sing

Once Paumanok

When the lilac-scent was in the air and Fifth-month grass was growing,

Up this seashore in some briers,

Two feather'd guests from Alabama, two together,

And their nest, and four light-green eggs spotted with brown,

And every day the he-bird to and fro near at hand,

And every day the she-bird crouch'd on her nest, silent, with

bright eyes,

And every day

them Cautiously peering, absorbing, translating

Shine shine shine!

!

Pour down your warmth, great sun
While we bask, we two together!

a curious boy, never too close, never disturbing

Two together!

Winds blow south, or winds blow north,
Day come white, or night come black/
Home, or rivers and mountains from home,/
Singing all time/minding no time
While we two keep together.

Till of a sudden,"

May-be kill'd, unknown to her mate,

One forenoon the she-bird crouch'd not on the nest,
Nor return'd that afternoon, nor the next

Nor ever appear'd again

And thenceforward all summer in the sound of the sea,
And at night under the full of the moon in calmer weather,

Blow blow blow,

/blow

Over the hoarse surging of the sea,

Or flitting from brier to brier by day,

I saw, I heard at intervals the remaining one, the he-bird,
The solitary guest from Alabama,

[ocr errors]

re;

Blow up sea-winds along Paumanok's shore;
I wait and I wait till you blow my mate to me!

Yes, when the stars glisten'd,

All night long on the prong of a moss-scallop'd stake,
Down almost amid the slapping waves,

Sat the lone singer wonderful causing tears,

He call'd on his mate,

He pour'd forth the meanings which I of all men know

Yes my brother I know,

The rest might not, but I have treasur'd every note,/
For 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,
Listen'd long and long

Listen'd to keep, to sing, now translating the notes
Following you my brother

Soothe soothe soothe!

Close on its wave soothes the wave behind

And again another behind embracing and lapping every one close But my love soothes not me

not me

Low hangs the moon, it rose late

It is lagging 0 I think it is heavy with love, with love,

O madly the sea pushes upon the land,/
With love, with love/

O night! do I not see my love fluttering out among the breakers What is that little black thing I see there in the white?/

Loud! loud! loud!
Loud I call to you, my love!

proud!

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »