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Chants Democratic and Native American 5


RESPONDEZ! Respondez! Let every one answer! Let those who sleep be  
 waked! Let none evade—not you, any more  
 than others!
(If it really be as is pretended, how much longer must  
 we 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, thieves, bigots, fools, unclean persons, 
 offer new propositions!
Let the old propositions be postponed! Let faces and theories be turned inside out! Let  
 meanings be freely criminal, as well as results!
  [ begin page 167 ]ppp.01500.175.jpg Let there be no suggestion above the suggestion of  
Let none be pointed toward his destination! (Say! 
 do you know your destination?)
Let trillions of men and women be mocked with  
 bodies and mocked 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 contradict  
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!
Let the theory of America be management, caste, 
 comparison! (Say! what other theory would  
Let them that distrust birth and death lead the  
 rest! (Say! why shall they not lead you?)
Let the crust of hell be neared 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 exile itself from the  
 heart of the old man! and let the heart of the  
 old man be exiled from that of the young man!
Let the sun and moon go! Let scenery take the  
 applause of the audience! Let there be apathy  
 under the stars!
  [ begin page 168 ]ppp.01500.176.jpg 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, gov- 
 ernments, households, religions, philosophies, take  
 such for granted above all!
Let the worst men beget children out of the worst  
Let priests still play at immortality! Let Death be inaugurated! Let nothing remain upon the earth except the ashes of  
 teachers, artists, moralists, lawyers, and learned  
 and polite persons!
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!
Let churches accommodate serpents, vermin, and the  
 corpses of those who have died of the most filthy  
 of diseases!
Let marriage slip down among fools, and be for none  
 but fools!
Let men among themselves talk and think obscenely  
 of women! and let women among themselves  
 talk and think obscenely of men!
Let every man doubt every woman! and let every  
 woman trick every man!
  [ begin page 169 ]ppp.01500.177.jpg 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, pictures, statues, reminis- 
 cences, elegant works, be permitted to exist  
 upon the earth!
Let the earth desert God, nor let there ever hence- 
 forth be mentioned the name of God!
Let there be no God! Let there be money, business, imports, exports, cus- 
 tom, 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  
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  
 American 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  
 scorned and derided off from the earth!
Let a floating cloud in the sky—Let a wave of the  
 sea—Let one glimpse of your eye-sight upon the  
 landscape or grass—Let growing mint, spinach, 
 onions, tomatoes—Let these be exhibited as  
 shows at a great price for admission!
15   [ begin page 170 ]ppp.01500.178.jpg 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!
Let shadows be furnished with genitals! Let sub- 
 stances be deprived of their genitals!
Let there be wealthy and immense cities—but  
 through any of them, not a single poet, saviour, 
 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 him! 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 teach only  
 what they have been taught!
Let the preachers of creeds never dare to go meditate  
 candidly upon the hills, alone, by day or by  
 night! (If one ever once dare, he is lost!)
Let insanity have charge of sanity! Let books take the place of trees, animals, rivers, 
Let the daubed portraits of heroes supersede heroes! Let the manhood of man never take steps after itself! 
 Let it take steps after eunuchs, and after con- 
 sumptive and genteel persons!
Let the white person 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 continue  
  [ begin page 171 ]ppp.01500.179.jpg Let a man seek pleasure everywhere except in him- 
 self! Let a woman seek happiness everywhere  
 except in herself! (Say! what real happiness  
 have you had one single time through your whole  
 life ?)
Let the limited years of life do nothing for the limit- 
 less years of death! (Say! what do you suppose  
 death will do, then ?)
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