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Now List to My Morning's Romanza


1NOW list to my morning's romanza; To the cities and farms I sing, as they spread in the  
 sunshine before me.
2A young man came to me bearing a message from  
 his brother;
How should the young man know the whether and  
 when of his brother?
Tell him to send me the signs.
3And I stood before the young man face to face, and  
 took his right hand in my left hand, and his left  
 hand in my right hand,
And I answer'd for his brother, and for men, and I  
 answer'd for THE POET, and sent these signs.
4Him all wait for—him all yield up to—his word is  
 decisive and final,
  [ begin page 295 ]ppp.00473.295.jpg Him they accept, in him lave, in him perceive them- 
 selves, as amid light,
Him they immerse, and he immerses them.
5Beautiful women, the haughtiest nations, laws, the  
 landscape, people, animals,
The profound earth and its attributes, and the unquiet  
 ocean, (so tell I my morning's romanza;)
All enjoyments and properties, and money, and what- 
 ever money will buy,
The best farms—others toiling and planting, and he  
 unavoidably reaps,
The noblest and costliest cities—others grading and  
 building, and he domiciles there,
Nothing for any one, but what is for him—near and  
 far are for him, the ships in the offing,
The perpetual shows and marches on land, are for him,  
 if they are for any body.
6He puts things in their attitudes; He puts to-day out of himself, with plasticity and  
He places his own city, times, reminiscences, parents,  
 brothers and sisters, associations, employment,  
 politics, so that the rest never shame them after- 
 ward, nor assume to command them.
7He is the answerer; What can be answer'd he answers—and what cannot  
 be answer'd, he shows how it cannot be answer'd.
8A man is a summons and challenge; (It is vain to skulk—Do you hear that mocking and  
 laughter? Do you hear the ironical echoes?)
9Books, friendships, philosophers, priests, action,  
 pleasure, pride, beat up and down, seeking to  
 give satisfaction;
  [ begin page 296 ]ppp.00473.296.jpg He indicates the satisfaction, and indicates them that  
 beat up and down also.
10Whichever the sex, whatever the season or place, he  
 may go freshly and gently and safely, by day or  
 by night;
He has the pass-key of hearts—to him the response  
 of the prying of hands on the knobs.
11His welcome is universal—the flow of beauty is not  
 more welcome or universal than he is;
The person he favors by day or sleeps with at night is  
12Every existence has its idiom—everything has an  
 idiom and tongue;
He resolves all tongues into his own, and bestows it  
 upon men, and any man translates, and any man  
 translates himself also;
One part does not counteract another part—he is the  
 joiner—he sees how they join.
13He says indifferently and alike, How are you, friend?  
 to the President at his levee,
And he says, Good-day, my brother! to Cudge that  
 hoes in the sugar-field,
And both understand him, and know that his speech  
 is right.
14He walks with perfect ease in the Capitol, He walks among the Congress, and one representative  
 says to another, Here is our equal, appearing and  
15Then the mechanics take him for a mechanic, And the soldiers suppose him to be a soldier, and the  
 sailors that he has follow'd the sea,
  [ begin page 297 ]ppp.00473.297.jpg And the authors take him for an author, and the  
 artists for an artist,
And the laborers perceive he could labor with them  
 and love them;
No matter what the work is, that he is the one to  
 follow it, or has follow'd it,
No matter what the nation, that he might find his  
 brothers and sisters there.
16The English believe he comes of their English  
A Jew to the Jew he seems—a Russ to the Russ—  
 usual and near, removed from none.
17Whoever he looks at in the traveler's coffee-house  
 claims him,
The Italian or Frenchman is sure, and the German is  
 sure, and the Spaniard is sure, and the island  
 Cuban is sure;
The engineer, the deck-hand on the great lakes, or on  
 the Mississippi, or St. Lawrence, or Sacramento,  
 or Hudson, or Paumanok Sound, claims him.
18The gentleman of perfect blood acknowledges his  
 perfect blood;
The insulter, the prostitute, the angry person, the  
 beggar, see themselves in the ways of him—he  
 strangely transmutes them,
They are not vile any more—they hardly know them- 
 selves, they are so grown.
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