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Lesson Poem.

29 — Lesson Poem.

WHO learns my lesson complete? Boss, journeyman, apprentice? churchman  
 and atheist?
The stupid and the wise thinker? parents and  
 offspring? merchant, clerk, porter, and cus- 
 tomer? editor, author, artist, and school- 
Draw nigh and commence, It is no lesson, it lets down the bars to a good  
And that to another, and every one to another  
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.
14   [ begin page 314 ]ppp.00237.322.jpg I cannot say to any person what I hear—I  
 cannot say it to myself—it is very won- 
It is no little matter, this round and delicious globe  
 moving so exactly in its orbit forever 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 decillions of  
Nor planned and built one thing after another, as  
 an architect plans and builds a house.
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 immortal,
I know it is wonderful—but my eye-sight is  
 equally wonderful, and how I was con- 
 ceived in my mother's womb is equally  
And how I was not palpable once, but am now —  
 and was born on the last day of May in the  
 Year 43 of America—and passed from a
  [ begin page 315 ]ppp.00237.323.jpg babe, in the creeping trance of three summers  
 and three winters, to articulate and walk —  
 all this is equally wonderful,
And that I grew six feet high, and that I have  
 become a man thirty-six years old in the Year  
 79 of America, and that I am here anyhow,  
 are all 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 wonderful.
Come! I should like to hear you tell me what  
 there is in yourself that is not just as won- 
And I should like to hear the name of anything  
 between Sunday morning and Saturday night  
 that is not just as wonderful.
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