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Great Are the Myths


1 GREAT are the myths—I too delight in them; Great are Adam and Eve—I too look back and accept  
Great the risen and fallen nations, and their poets,  
 women, sages, inventors, rulers, warriors, and  
2Great is Liberty! great is Equality! I am their  
Helmsmen of nations, choose your craft! where you  
 sail, I sail,
I weather it out with you, or sink with you.
3Great is Youth—equally great is Old Age—great  
 are the Day and night;
Great is Wealth—great is Poverty—great is Expres- 
 sion—great is Silence.
4Youth, large, lusty, loving—Youth, full of grace,  
 force, fascination!
Do you know that Old Age may come after you, with  
 equal grace, force, fascination?
5Day, full-blown and splendid—Day of the immense  
 sun, action, ambition, laughter,
The Night follows close, with millions of suns, and  
 sleep, and restoring darkness.
  [ begin page 292 ]ppp.00473.292.jpg 6Wealth, with the flush hand, fine clothes, hospi- 
But then the Soul's wealth, which is candor, knowl- 
 edge, pride, enfolding love;
(Who goes for men and women showing Poverty  
 richer than wealth?)
7(Expression of speech! in what is written or said,  
 forget not that Silence is also expressive,
That anguish as hot as the hottest, and contempt as  
 cold as the coldest, may be without words.)
8Great is the Earth, and the way it became what it  
Do you imagine it has stopt at this? the increase  
Understand then that it goes as far onward from this,  
 as this is from the times when it lay in cover- 
 ing waters and gases, before man had appear'd.
9Great is the quality of Truth in man; The quality of truth in man supports itself through  
 all changes,
It is inevitably in the man—he and it are in love, and  
 never leave each other.
10The truth in man is no dictum, it is vital as eye- 
If there be any Soul, there is truth—if there be man  
 or woman, there is truth—if there be physical  
 or moral, there is truth;
If there be equilibrium or volition, there is truth—if  
 there be things at all upon the earth, there is  
11O truth of the earth! O truth of things! I am de- 
 termin to press my way toward you;
Sound your voice! I scale mountains, or dive in the  
 sea after you.
  [ begin page 293 ]ppp.00473.293.jpg 12Great is Language—it is the mightiest of the sci- 
It is the fulness, color, form, diversity of the earth,  
 and of men and women, and of all qualities  
 and processes;
It is greater than wealth—it is greater than buildings,  
 ships, religions, paintings, music.
13Great is the English speech—what speech is so  
 great as the English?
Great is the English brood—what brood has so vast a  
 destiny as the English ?
It is the mother of the brood that must rule the earth  
 with the new rule;
The new rule shall rule as the Soul rules, and as the  
 love, justice, equality in the Soul rule.
14Great is law—great are the old few land-marks of  
 the law,
They are the same in all times, and shall not be dis- 
15Great is Justice! Justice is not settled by legislators and laws—it is in  
 the Soul;
It cannot be varied by statutes, any more than love,  
 pride, the attraction of gravity, can;
It is immutable—it does not depend on majorities—  
 majorities or what not, come at last before the  
 same passionless and exact tribunal.
16For justice are the grand natural lawyers, and per- 
 fect judges—is it in their Souls;
It is well assorted—they have not studied for nothing  
 —the great includes the less;
They rule on the highest grounds—they oversee all  
 eras, states, administrations.
L   [ begin page 294 ]ppp.00473.294.jpg 17The perfect judge fears nothing—he could go front  
 to front before God;
Before the perfect judge all shall stand back—life and  
 death shall stand back—heaven and hell shall  
 stand back.
18Great is Life, real and mystical, wherever and who- 
Great is Death—sure as life holds all parts together,  
 Death holds all parts together.
19Has Life much purport?—Ah, Death has the greatest  
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