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12.

1To oratists—to male or female,
Vocalism, breath, measure, concentration, determina-
tion, and the divine power to use words.

2Are you eligible?
Are you full-lung'd and limber-lipp'd from long trial?
from vigorous practice? from physique?


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Do you move in these broad lands as broad as they?
Remembering inland America, the high plateaus,
stretching long?
Remembering Kanada—Remembering what edges
the vast round edge of the Mexican Sea?
Come duly to the divine power to use words?

3For only at last, after many years—after chastity,
friendship, procreation, prudence, and nakedness,
After treading ground and breasting river and lake,
After a loosened throat—after absorbing eras, tem-
peraments, races—after knowledge, freedom,
crimes,
After complete faith—after clarifyings, elevations,
and removing obstructions,
After these, and more, it is just possible there comes
to a man, a woman, the divine power to use
words.

4Then toward that man or that woman swiftly hasten
all—None refuse, all attend,
Armies, ships, antiquities, the dead, libraries, paint-
ings, machines, cities, hate, despair, amity, pain,
theft, murder, aspiration, form in close ranks,
They debouch as they are wanted to march obediently
through the mouth of that man, or that woman.

5O now I see arise orators fit for inland America,
And I see it is as slow to become an orator as to
become a man,
And I see that power is folded in a great vocalism.

6Of a great vocalism, when you hear it, the merciless
light shall pour, and the storm rage around,


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Every flash shall be a revelation, an insult,
The glaring flame turned on depths, on heights, on
suns, on stars,
On the interior and exterior of man or woman,
On the laws of Nature—on passive materials,
On what you called death—and what to you there-
fore was death,
As far as there can be death.

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