Leaves of Grass (1881-82)

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WHO learns my lesson complete?
Boss, journeyman, apprentice, churchman and atheist,
The stupid and the wise thinker, parents and offspring, merchant,
         clerk, porter and customer,
Editor, author, artist, and schoolboy—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.

I cannot say to any person what I hear—I cannot say it to myself
         —it is very wonderful.

It is no small matter, this round and delicious globe moving so
         exactly in its orbit for ever 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 billions of years,
Nor plann'd and built one thing after another as an architect
         plans and builds a house.

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View Page 305

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 im-
I know it is wonderful, but my eyesight is equally wonderful, and
         how I was conceived in my mother's womb is equally
And pass'd from a babe in the creeping trance of a couple of
         summers and winters to articulate and walk—all this is
         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
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