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29 — Lesson Poem.

WHO learns my lesson complete?
Boss, journeyman, apprentice? churchman
and atheist?
The stupid and the wise thinker? parents and
offspring? merchant, clerk, porter, and cus-
tomer? editor, author, artist, and school-
boy?
Draw nigh and commence,
It is no lesson, it lets down the bars to a good
lesson,
And that to another, and every one to another
still.

The great laws take and effuse without argument,
I am of the same style, for I am their friend,
I love them quits and quits—I do not halt and
make salaams.

I lie abstracted and hear beautiful tales of things
and the reasons of things,
They are so beautiful I nudge myself to listen.



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I cannot say to any person what I hear—I
cannot say it to myself—it is very won-
derful.

It is no little matter, this round and delicious globe
moving so exactly in its orbit forever and
ever without one jolt or the untruth of a
single second,
I do not think it was made in six days, nor
in ten thousand years, nor ten decillions of
years,
Nor planned and built one thing after another, as
an architect plans and builds a house.

I do not think seventy years is the time of a man
or woman,
Nor that seventy millions of years is the time of a
man or woman,
Nor that years will ever stop the existence of me
or any one else.

Is it wonderful that I should be immortal? as
every one is immortal,
I know it is wonderful—but my eye-sight is
equally wonderful, and how I was con-
ceived in my mother's womb is equally
wonderful,
And how I was not palpable once, but am now —
and was born on the last day of May in the
Year 43 of America—and passed from a


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babe, in the creeping trance of three summers
and three winters, to articulate and walk —
all this is equally wonderful,
And that I grew six feet high, and that I have
become a man thirty-six years old in the Year
79 of America, and that I am here anyhow,
are all equally wonderful,
And that my soul embraces you this hour, and we
affect each other without ever seeing each
other, and never perhaps to see each other,
is every bit as wonderful,
And that I can think such thoughts as these is
just as wonderful,
And that I can remind you, and you think them and
know them to be true, is just as wonderful,
And that the moon spins round the earth, and on
with the earth, is equally wonderful,
And that they balance themselves with the sun
and stars is equally wonderful.

Come! I should like to hear you tell me what
there is in yourself that is not just as won-
derful,
And I should like to hear the name of anything
between Sunday morning and Saturday night
that is not just as wonderful.

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