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Part of the cluster MARCHES NOW THE WAR IS OVER.


RESPONDEZ! Respondez! (The war is completed—the price is paid—the title is  
 settled beyond recall;)
Let every one answer! let those who sleep be waked!  
 let none evade!
Must we still 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  
Let murderers, bigots, fools, unclean persons, offer new  
Let the old propositions be postponed! Let faces and theories be turn'd inside out! let mean- 
 ings be freely criminal, as well as results!
Let there be no suggestion above the suggestion of  
Let none be pointed toward his destination! (Say! do  
 you know your destination?)
Let men and women be mock'd with bodies and mock'd  
 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 contra- 
 dict 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!
(Stifled, O days! O lands! in every public and private  
Smother'd in thievery, impotence, shamelessness, moun- 
Brazen effrontery, scheming, rolling like ocean's waves  
 around and upon you, O my days! my lands!
  [ begin page 334 ]ppp.00270.336.jpg For not even those thunderstorms, nor fiercest light- 
 nings of the war, have purified the atmosphere;)
—Let the theory of America still be management, caste,  
 comparison! (Say! what other theory would  
Let them that distrust birth and death still lead the  
 rest! (Say! why shall they not lead you?)
Let the crust of hell be near'd 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 still exile itself from  
 the heart of the old man! and let the heart of  
 the old man be exiled from that of the young  
Let the sun and moon go! let scenery take the applause  
 of the audience! let there be apathy under the  
Let freedom prove no man's inalienable right! every  
 one who can tyrannize, let him tyrannize to his  
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, govern- 
 ments, households, religions, philosophies, take  
 such for granted above all!
Let the worst men beget children out of the worst  
Let the priest still play at immortality! Let death be inaugurated! Let nothing remain but the ashes of teachers, artists;  
 moralists, lawyers, and learn'd and polite per- 
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!
  [ begin page 335 ]ppp.00270.337.jpg Let churches accommodate serpents, vermin, and the  
 corpses of those who have died of the most  
 filty of diseases!
Let marriage slip down among fools, and be for none  
 but fools!
Let men among themselves talk and think forever ob- 
 scenely of women! and let women among them- 
 selves talk and think obscenely of men!
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 at second hand be permitted to  
 exist upon the earth!
Let the earth desert God, nor let there ever henceforth  
 be mention'd the name of God!
Let there be no God! Let there be money, business, imports, exports, custom,  
 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 Ameri- 
 can, 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  
 scorn'd and derided off from the earth!
Let a floating cloud in the sky—let a wave of the sea—  
 let growing mint, spinach, onions, tomatoes—  
 let these be exhibited as shows, at a great price for  
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!
  [ begin page 336 ]ppp.00270.338.jpg Let shadows be furnish'd with genitals! let substances  
 be deprived of their genitals!
Let there be wealthy and immense cities—but still  
 through any of them, not a single poet, savior,  
 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  
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 still teach  
 only what they have been taught!
Let insanity still have charge of sanity! Let books take the place of trees, animals, rivers, clouds! Let the daub'd portraits of heroes supersede heroes! Let the manhood of man never take steps after itself! Let it take steps after eunuchs, and after consumptive  
 and genteel persons!
Let the white person again 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 still con- 
 tinue unstudied!
Let a man seek pleasure everywhere except in himself! Let a woman seek happiness everywhere except in  
(What real happiness have you had one single hour  
 through your whole life?)
Let the limited years of life do nothing for the limitless  
 years of death! (What do you suppose death  
 will do, then?)

Part of the cluster MARCHES NOW THE WAR IS OVER.

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