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Poem of the Sayers of the Words of the Earth.

31 — Poem of The Sayers of The Words of The Earth.

EARTH, round, rolling, compact—suns, moons,  
 animals—all these are words,
Watery, vegetable, sauroid advances—beings,  
 premonitions, lispings of the future—these  
 are vast words.
Were you thinking that those were the words —  
 those upright lines? those curves, angles,  
No, those are not the words—the substantial  
 words are in the ground and sea,
They are in the air—they are in you.
Were you thinking that those were the words —  
 those delicious sounds out of your friends'  
No, the real words are more delicious than they.
Human bodies are words, myriads of words, In the best poems re-appears the body, man's or  
 woman's, well-shaped, natural, gay,
  [ begin page 323 ]ppp.00237.331.jpg Every part able, active, receptive, without shame  
 or the need of shame
Air, soil, water, fire, these are words, I myself am a word with them—my qualities  
 interpenetrate with theirs—my name is noth- 
 ing to them,
Though it were told in the three thousand lan- 
 guages, what would air, soil, water, fire,  
 know of my name?
A healthy presence, a friendly or commanding  
 gesture, are words, sayings, meanings,
The charms that go with the mere looks of some  
 men and women are sayings and meanings  
The workmanship of souls is by the inaudible  
 words of the earth,
The great masters, the sayers, know the earth's  
 words, and use them more than the audible  
Syllables are not the earth's words, Beauty, reality, manhood, time, life—the realities  
 of such as these are the earth's words.
Amelioration is one of the earth's words, The earth neither lags nor hastens,   [ begin page 324 ]ppp.00237.332.jpg It has all attributes, growths, effects, latent in it- 
 self from the jump,
It is not half beautiful only—defects and excres- 
 cences show just as much as perfections  
The earth does not withhold, it is generous  
The truths of the earth continually wait, they are  
 not so concealed either,
They are calm, subtle, untransmissible by print, They are imbued through all things, conveying  
 themselves willingly,
Conveying a sentiment and invitation of the earth  
 —I utter and utter,
I speak not, yet if you hear me not, of what avail  
 am I to you?
To bear—to better—lacking these, of what  
 avail am I?
Accouche! Accouchez! Will you rot your own fruit in yourself there? Will you squat and stifle there? The earth does not argue, Is not pathetic, has no arrangements, Does not scream, haste, persuade, threaten,  
Makes no discriminations, has no conceivable  
  [ begin page 325 ]ppp.00237.333.jpg Closes nothing, refuses nothing, shuts none out, Of all the powers, objects, states, it notifies, shuts  
 none out.
The earth does not exhibit itself nor refuse to  
 exhibit itself—possesses still underneath,
Underneath the ostensible sounds, the august  
 chorus of heroes, the wail of slaves,
Persuasions of lovers, curses, gasps of the dying,  
 laughter of young people, accents of bar- 
Underneath these possessing the words that never  
To her children the words of the eloquent dumb  
 great mother never fail,
The true words do not fail, for motion does not  
 fail, and reflection does not fail,
Also the day and night do not fail, and the voyage  
 we pursue does not fail.
Of the interminable sisters, Of the ceaseless cotillions of sisters, Of the centripetal and centrifugal sisters, the elder  
 and younger sisters,
The beautiful sister we know dances on with the  
With her ample back toward every beholder,   [ begin page 326 ]ppp.00237.334.jpg With the fascinations of youth and the equal fas- 
 cinations of age,
Sits she whom I too love like the rest, sits undis- 
Holding up in her hand what has the character of a mirror, her eyes glancing back from  
Glancing thence as she sits, inviting none, denying  
Holding a mirror day and night tirelessly before  
 her own face.
Seen at hand, or seen at a distance, Duly the twenty-four appear in public every day, Duly approach and pass with their companions, or  
 a companion,
Looking from no countenances of their own, but  
 from the countenances of those who are with  
From the countenances of children or women, or  
 the manly countenance,
From the open countenances of animals, from in- 
 animate things,
From the landscape or waters, or from the exqui- 
 site apparition of the sky,
From our own countenances, mine and yours,  
 faithfully returning them,
Every day in public appearing without fail, but  
 never twice with the same companions.
  [ begin page 327 ]ppp.00237.335.jpg Embracing man, embracing all, proceed the three  
 hundred and sixty-five resistlessly round the  
Embracing all, soothing, supporting, follow close  
 three hundred and sixty-five offsets of the  
 first, sure and necessary as they.
Tumbling on steadily, nothing dreading, Sunshine, storm, cold, heat, forever withstanding,  
 passing, carrying,
The soul's realization and determination still in- 
The liquid vacuum around and ahead still entering  
 and dividing,
No balk retarding, no anchor anchoring, on no  
 rock striking,
Swift, glad, content, unbereaved, nothing losing, Of all able and ready at any time to give strict  
The divine ship sails the divine sea.
Whoever you are! motion and reflection are espe- 
 cially for you,
The divine ship sails the divine sea for you.
Whoever you are! you are he or she for whom  
 the earth is solid and liquid,
You are he or she for whom the sun and moon  
 hang in the sky,
  [ begin page 328 ]ppp.00237.336.jpg For none more than you are the present and the  
For none more than you is immortality.
Each man to himself, and each woman to herself,  
 is the word of the past and present, and the
word of immortality, Not one can acquire for another—not one! Not one can grow for another—not one!
The song is to the singer, and comes back most to  
The teaching is to the teacher, and comes back  
 most to him,
The murder is to the murderer, and comes back  
 most to him,
The theft is to the thief, and comes back most to  
The love is to the lover, and comes back most to  
The gift is to the giver, and comes back most to  
 him—it cannot fail,
The oration is to the orator, and the acting is to  
 the actor and actress, not to the audience,
And no man understands any greatness or good- 
 ness but his own, or the indication of his  
I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him  
 or her who shall be complete!
  [ begin page 329 ]ppp.00237.337.jpg I swear the earth remains broken and jagged only  
 to him or her who remains broken and  
I swear there is no greatness or power that does  
 not emulate those of the earth!
I swear there can be no theory of any account,  
 unless it corroborate the theory of the earth!
No politics, art, religion, behaviour, or what not, is  
 of account, unless it compare with the ampli- 
 tude of the earth,
Unless it face the exactness, vitality, impartiality,  
 rectitude of the earth.
I swear I begin to see love with sweeter spasms  
 than that which responds love!
It is that which contains itself, which never in- 
 vites and never refuses.
I swear I begin to see little or nothing in audible  
I swear I think all merges toward the presentation  
 of the unspoken meanings of the earth!
Toward him who sings the songs of the body, and  
 of the truths of the earth,
Toward him who makes the dictionaries of the  
 words that print cannot touch.
I swear I see what is better than to tell the best, It is always to leave the best untold.   [ begin page 330 ]ppp.00237.338.jpg When I undertake to tell the best, I find I can- 
My tongue is ineffectual on its pivots, My breath will not be obedient to its organs, I become a dumb man.
The best of the earth cannot be told anyhow—all  
 or any is best,
It is not what you anticipated, it is cheaper, easier,  
Things are not dismissed from the places they  
 held before,
The earth is just as positive and direct as it was  
Facts, religions, improvements, politics, trades, are  
 as real as before,
But the soul is also real, it too is positive and  
No reasoning, no proof has established it, Undeniable growth has established it.
This is a poem for the sayers of the earth —  
 these are hints of meanings,
These are they that echo the tones of souls, and  
 the phrases of souls;
If they did not echo the phrases of souls, what  
 were they then?
If they had not reference to you in especial, what  
 were they then?
  [ begin page 331 ]ppp.00237.339.jpg I swear I will never henceforth have to do with  
 the faith that tells the best!
I will have to do with that faith only that leaves  
 the best untold.
Say on, sayers of the earth! Delve! mould! pile the substantial words of the  
Work on, age after age! nothing is to be lost, It may have to wait long, but it will certainly come  
 in use,
When the materials are all prepared, the archi- 
 tects shall appear,
I swear to you the architects shall appear without  
 fail! I announce them and lead them!
I swear to you they will understand you and justify  
I swear to you the greatest among them shall be  
 he who best knows you, and encloses all, and  
 is faithful to all!
I swear to you, he and the rest shall not forget  
 you! they shall perceive that you are not an  
 iota less than they!
I swear to you, you shall be glorified in them!
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