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8.

1WHAT shall I give? and which are my miracles?

2Realism is mine—my miracles—Take freely,
Take without end—I offer them to you wherever
your feet can carry you, or your eyes reach.

3Why! who makes much of a miracle?
As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the
sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the
edge of the water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love—or sleep in the
bed at night with any one I love,
Or sit at the table at dinner with my mother,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a sum-
mer forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds—or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down—or of stars
shining so quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new-moon
in spring;
Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like
me best—mechanics, boatmen, farmers,


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Or among the savans—or to the soiree—or to the
opera,
Or stand a long while looking at the movements of
machinery,
Or behold children at their sports,
Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the
perfect old woman,
Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial,
Or my own eyes and figure in the glass,
These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring—yet each distinct and in its
place.

4To me, every hour of the light and dark is miracle,
Every inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread
with the same,
Every cubic foot of the interior swarms with the same;
Every spear of grass—the frames, limbs, organs, of
men and women, and all that concerns them,
All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.

5To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the
waves—the ships, with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

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