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Poem of the Last Explanation of Prudence.

18 — Poem of The Last Explanation of Prudence.

ALL day I have walked the city and talked with  
 my friends, and thought of prudence,
Of time, space, reality—of such as these, and  
 abreast with them, prudence.
After all, the last explanation remains to be made  
 about prudence,
Little and large alike drop quietly aside from the  
 prudence that suits immortality.
The soul is of itself, All verges to it, all has reference to what ensues, All that a person does, says, thinks, is of conse- 
Not a move can a man or woman make, that  
 affects him or her in a day, month, any part  
 of the direct life-time, or the hour of death,  
 but the same affects him or her onward after- 
 ward through the indirect life-time.
The indirect is more than the direct,   [ begin page 258 ]ppp.00237.266.jpg The spirit receives from the body just as much as  
 it gives to the body, if not more.
Not one word or deed—not venereal sore, dis- 
 coloration, privacy of the onanist, putridity of  
 gluttons or rum-drinkers, peculation, cunning,  
 betrayal, murder, seduction, prostitution, but  
 has results beyond death, as really as before  
Charity and personal force are the only invest- 
 ments worth anything.
No specification is necessary—all that a male  
 or female does, that is vigorous, benevolent,  
 clean, is so much profit to him or her in the  
 unshakable order of the universe, and through  
 the whole scope of it forever.
Who has been wise, receives interest, Savage, felon, President, judge, prostitute, farmer,  
 sailor, mechanic, young, old, it is the same,
The interest will come round—all will come  
Singly, wholly, to affect now, affected their time,  
 will forever affect, all of the past, and all of  
 the present, and all of the future,
All the brave actions of war and peace,   [ begin page 259 ]ppp.00237.267.jpg All help given to relatives, strangers, the poor, old,  
 sorrowful, young children, widows, the sick,  
 and to shunned persons,
All furtherance of fugitives, and of the escape of  
All self-denial that stood steady and aloof on  
 wrecks, and saw others fill the seats of the  
All offering of substance or life for the good old  
 cause, or for a friend's sake, or opinion's sake,
All pains of enthusiasts, scoffed at by their neigh- 
All the limitless sweet love and precious suffering  
 of mothers,
All honest men baffled in strifes recorded or unre- 
All the grandeur and good of ancient nations  
 whose fragments we inherit,
All the good of the hundreds of ancient nations  
 unknown to us by name, date, location,
All that was ever manfully begun, whether it suc- 
 ceeded or no,
All suggestions of the divine mind of man, or the  
 divinity of his mouth, or the shaping of his  
 great hands;
All that is well thought or said this day on any  
 part of the globe—or on any of the wander- 
 ing stars, or on any of the fixed stars, by  
 those there as we are here,
  [ begin page 260 ]ppp.00237.268.jpg All that is henceforth to be thought or done by  
 you, whoever you are, or by any one,
These inure, have inured, shall inure, to the  
 identities from which they sprang, or shall  
Did you guess anything lived only its moment? The world does not so exist—no parts palpable  
 or impalpable so exist,
No consummation exists without being from some  
 long previous consummation, and that from  
 some other, without the farthest conceivable  
 one coming a bit nearer the beginning than  
Whatever satisfies souls is true, Prudence satisfies the craving and glut of souls. Itself finally satisfies the soul, The soul has that measureless pride which re- 
 volts from every lesson but its own.
Now I give you an inkling, Now I breathe the word of the prudence that  
 walks abreast with time, space, reality,
That answers the pride which refuses every les- 
 son but its own.
What is prudence, is indivisible,   [ begin page 261 ]ppp.00237.269.jpg Declines to separate one part of life from every  
Divides not the righteous from the unrighteous,  
 or the living from the dead,
Matches every thought or act by its correlative, Knows no possible forgiveness or deputed atone- 
Knows that the young man who composedly  
 periled his life and lost it, has done exceeding  
 well for himself, without doubt,
That he who never periled his life, but retains it  
 to old age in riches and ease, has probably  
 achieved nothing for himself worth men- 
Knows that only the person has learned, who has  
 learned to prefer results,
Who favors body and soul the same, Who perceives the indirect assuredly following  
 the direct,
Who in his spirit in any emergency whatever  
 neither hurries or avoids death.
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