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5.

RESPONDEZ! Respondez!
Let every one answer! Let those who sleep be
waked! Let none evade—not you, any more
than others!
(If it really be as is pretended, how much longer must
we go on with our affectations and sneaking?
Let me bring this to a close—I pronounce openly for
a new distribution of roles,)
Let that which stood in front go behind! and let
that which was behind advance to the front and
speak!
Let murderers, thieves, bigots, fools, unclean persons,
offer new propositions!
Let the old propositions be postponed!
Let faces and theories be turned inside out! Let
meanings be freely criminal, as well as results!


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Let there be no suggestion above the suggestion of
drudgery!
Let none be pointed toward his destination! (Say!
do you know your destination?)
Let trillions of men and women be mocked with
bodies and mocked with Souls!
Let the love that waits in them, wait! Let it die,
or pass still-born to other spheres!
Let the sympathy that waits in every man, wait!
or let it also pass, a dwarf, to other spheres!
Let contradictions prevail! Let one thing contradict
another! and let one line of my poems contradict
another!
Let the people sprawl with yearning aimless hands!
Let their tongues be broken! Let their eyes be
discouraged! Let none descend into their hearts
with the fresh lusciousness of love!
Let the theory of America be management, caste,
comparison! (Say! what other theory would
you?)
Let them that distrust birth and death lead the
rest! (Say! why shall they not lead you?)
Let the crust of hell be neared and trod on! Let the
days be darker than the nights! Let slumber
bring less slumber than waking-time brings!
Let the world never appear to him or her for whom
it was all made!
Let the heart of the young man exile itself from the
heart of the old man! and let the heart of the
old man be exiled from that of the young man!
Let the sun and moon go! Let scenery take the
applause of the audience! Let there be apathy
under the stars!


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Let freedom prove no man's inalienable right! Every
one who can tyrannize, let him tyrannize to his
satisfaction!
Let none but infidels be countenanced!
Let the eminence of meanness, treachery, sarcasm,
hate, greed, indecency, impotence, lust, be taken
for granted above all! Let writers, judges, gov-
ernments, households, religions, philosophies, take
such for granted above all!
Let the worst men beget children out of the worst
women!
Let priests still play at immortality!
Let Death be inaugurated!
Let nothing remain upon the earth except the ashes of
teachers, artists, moralists, lawyers, and learned
and polite persons!
Let him who is without my poems be assassinated!
Let the cow, the horse, the camel, the garden-bee—
Let the mud-fish, the lobster, the mussel, eel, the
sting-ray, and the grunting pig-fish—Let these,
and the like of these, be put on a perfect equality
with man and woman!
Let churches accommodate serpents, vermin, and the
corpses of those who have died of the most filthy
of diseases!
Let marriage slip down among fools, and be for none
but fools!
Let men among themselves talk and think obscenely
of women! and let women among themselves
talk and think obscenely of men!
Let every man doubt every woman! and let every
woman trick every man!


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Let us all, without missing one, be exposed in public,
naked, monthly, at the peril of our lives! Let
our bodies be freely handled and examined by
whoever chooses!
Let nothing but copies, pictures, statues, reminis-
cences, elegant works, be permitted to exist
upon the earth!
Let the earth desert God, nor let there ever hence-
forth be mentioned the name of God!
Let there be no God!
Let there be money, business, imports, exports, cus-
tom, authority, precedents, pallor, dyspepsia,
smut, ignorance, unbelief!
Let judges and criminals be transposed! Let the
prison-keepers be put in prison! Let those that
were prisoners take the keys! (Say! why might
they not just as well be transposed?)
Let the slaves be masters! Let the masters become
slaves!
Let the reformers descend from the stands where
they are forever bawling! Let an idiot or insane
person appear on each of the stands!
Let the Asiatic, the African, the European, the
American and the Australian, go armed against
the murderous stealthiness of each other! Let
them sleep armed! Let none believe in good-will!
Let there be no unfashionable wisdom! Let such be
scorned and derided off from the earth!
Let a floating cloud in the sky—Let a wave of the
sea—Let one glimpse of your eye-sight upon the
landscape or grass—Let growing mint, spinach,
onions, tomatoes—Let these be exhibited as
shows at a great price for admission!


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Let all the men of These States stand aside for a
few smouchers! Let the few seize on what they
choose! Let the rest gawk, giggle, starve, obey!
Let shadows be furnished with genitals! Let sub-
stances be deprived of their genitals!
Let there be wealthy and immense cities—but
through any of them, not a single poet, saviour,
knower, lover!
Let the infidels of These States laugh all faith away!
If one man be found who has faith, let the rest
set upon him! Let them affright faith! Let
them destroy the power of breeding faith!
Let the she-harlots and the he-harlots be prudent!
Let them dance on, while seeming lasts! (O
seeming! seeming! seeming!)
Let the preachers recite creeds! Let them teach only
what they have been taught!
Let the preachers of creeds never dare to go meditate
candidly upon the hills, alone, by day or by
night! (If one ever once dare, he is lost!)
Let insanity have charge of sanity!
Let books take the place of trees, animals, rivers,
clouds!
Let the daubed portraits of heroes supersede heroes!
Let the manhood of man never take steps after itself!
Let it take steps after eunuchs, and after con-
sumptive and genteel persons!
Let the white person tread the black person under his
heel! (Say! which is trodden under heel, after
all ?)
Let the reflections of the things of the world be studied
in mirrors! Let the things themselves continue
unstudied!


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Let a man seek pleasure everywhere except in him-
self! Let a woman seek happiness everywhere
except in herself! (Say! what real happiness
have you had one single time through your whole
life ?)
Let the limited years of life do nothing for the limit-
less years of death! (Say! what do you suppose
death will do, then ?)

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