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1TO think of it! To think of time—of all that retrospection! To think of to-day, and the ages continued hence- 
2Have you guessed you yourself would not continue? Have you dreaded those earth-beetles? Have you feared the future would be nothing to you? 3Is to-day nothing? Is the beginningless past nothing? If the future is nothing, they are just as surely  
4To think that the sun rose in the east! that men  
 and women were flexible, real, alive! that every- 
 thing was alive!
To think that you and I did not see, feel, think, nor  
 bear our part!
To think that we are now here, and bear our part!
5Not a day passes—not a minute or second, without  
 an accouchment!
Not a day passes—not a minute or second, without a  
6The dull nights go over, and the dull days also, The soreness of lying so much in bed goes over,   [ begin page 441 ]ppp.01500.449.jpg The physician, after long putting off, gives the silent  
 and terrible look for an answer,
The children come hurried and weeping, and the  
 brothers and sisters are sent for,
Medicines stand unused on the shelf—(the camphor- 
 smell has long pervaded the rooms,)
The faithful hand of the living does not desert the  
 hand of the dying,
The twitching lips press lightly on the forehead of  
 the dying,
The breath ceases, and the pulse of the heart ceases, The corpse stretches on the bed, and the living look  
 upon it,
It is palpable as the living are palpable.
7The living look upon the corpse with their eye-sight, But without eye-sight lingers a different living, and  
 looks curiously on the corpse.
8To think that the rivers will flow, and the snow fall, 
 and fruits ripen, and act upon others as upon  
 us now—yet not act upon us!
To think of all these wonders of city and country, 
 and others taking great interest in them—and  
 we taking no interest in them!
9To think how eager we are in building our houses! To think others shall be just as eager, and we quite  
10I see one building the house that serves him a few  
 years, or seventy or eighty years at most,
I see one building the house that serves him longer  
 than that.
  [ begin page 442 ]ppp.01500.450.jpg 11Slow-moving and black lines creep over the whole  
 earth—they never cease—they are the burial  
He that was President was buried, and he that is now  
 President shall surely be buried.
12Cold dash of waves at the ferry-wharf—posh and  
 ice in the river, half-frozen mud in the streets, 
 a gray discouraged sky overhead, the short last  
 daylight of Twelfth Month,
A hearse and stages—other vehicles give place— 
 the funeral of an old Broadway stage-driver, the  
 cortege mostly drivers.
13Steady the trot to the cemetery, duly rattles the  
 death-bell, the gate is passed, the new-dug grave  
 is halted at, the living alight, the hearse un- 
The coffin is passed out, lowered and settled, the  
 whip is laid on the coffin, the earth is swiftly  
 shovelled in,
The mound above is flatted with the spades— 
A minute, no one moves or speaks—it is done, He is decently put away—is there anything more?
14He was a good fellow, free-mouthed, quick-tempered, 
 not bad-looking, able to take his own part, witty, 
 sensitive to a slight, ready with life or death for  
 a friend, fond of women, gambled, ate hearty, 
 drank hearty, had known what it was to be  
 flush, grew low-spirited toward the last, sickened, 
 was helped by a contribution, died, aged forty- 
 one years—and that was his funeral.
  [ begin page 443 ]ppp.01500.451.jpg 15Thumb extended, finger uplifted, apron, cape, gloves, 
 strap, wet-weather clothes, whip carefully chosen, 
 boss, spotter, starter, hostler, somebody loafing  
 on you, you loafing on somebody, head-way, man  
 before and man behind, good day's work, bad  
 day's work, pet stock, mean stock, first out, last  
 out, turning in at night,
To think that these are so much and so nigh to  
 other drivers—and he there takes no interest  
 in them!
16The markets, the government, the working-man's  
 wages—to think what account they are through  
 our nights and days!
To think that other working-men will make just as  
 great account of them—yet we make little or  
 no account!
17The vulgar and the refined—what you call sin and  
 what you call goodness—to think how wide a  
To think the difference will still continue to others, 
 yet we lie beyond the difference.
18To think how much pleasure there is! Have you pleasure from looking at the sky? have  
 you pleasure from poems?
Do you enjoy yourself in the city? or engaged in  
 business? or planning a nomination and elec- 
 tion? or with your wife and family?
Or with your mother and sisters? or in womanly  
 house-work? or the beautiful maternal cares?
These also flow onward to others—you and I flow  
  [ begin page 444 ]ppp.01500.452.jpg But in due time you and I shall take less interest  
 in them.
19Your farm, profits, crops,—to think how engrossed  
 you are!
To think there will still be farms, profits, crops—yet  
 for you, of what avail?
20What will be, will be well—for what is, is well, To take interest is well, and not to take interest shall  
 be well.
21The sky continues beautiful, The pleasure of men with women shall never be sated, 
 nor the pleasure of women with men, nor the  
 pleasure from poems,
The domestic joys, the daily house-work or business, 
 the building of houses—these are not phan- 
 tasms—they have weight, form, location;
Farms, profits, crops, markets, wages, government, 
 are none of them phantasms,
The difference between sin and goodness is no  
The earth is not an echo—man and his life, and all  
 the things of his life, are well-considered.
22You are not thrown to the winds—you gather cer- 
 tainly and safely around yourself,
Yourself! Yourself! Yourself, forever and ever!
23It is not to diffuse you that you were born of your  
 mother and father—it is to identify you, 
 It is not that you should be undecided, but that you  
 should be decided;
  [ begin page 445 ]ppp.01500.453.jpg Something long preparing and formless is arrived and  
 formed in you,
You are thenceforth secure, whatever comes or goes.
24The threads that were spun are gathered, the weft  
 crosses the warp, the pattern is systematic.
25The preparations have every one been justified, The orchestra have sufficiently tuned their instru- 
 ments, the baton has given the signal.
26The guest that was coming—he waited long, for  
 reasons—he is now housed,
He is one of those who are beautiful and happy— 
 he is one of those that to look upon and be  
 with is enough.
27The law of the past cannot be eluded, The law of the present and future cannot be eluded, The law of the living cannot be eluded—it is eter- 
The law of promotion and transformation cannot be  
The law of heroes and good-doers cannot be eluded, Thee law of drunkards, informers, mean persons— 
 not one iota of it can be eluded.
28Slow-moving and black lines go ceaselessly over the  
Northerner goes carried, and southerner goes carried, 
 and they on the Atlantic side, and they on the  
 Pacific, and they between, and all through the  
 Mississippi country, and all over the earth.
38   [ begin page 446 ]ppp.01500.454.jpg 29The great masters and kosmos are well as they go— 
 the heroes and good-doers are well,
The known leaders and inventors, and the rich owners  
 and pious and distinguished, may be well,
But there is more account than that—there is strict  
 account of all.
30The interminable hordes of the ignorant and wicked  
 are not nothing,
The barbarians of Africa and Asia are not nothing, The common people of Europe are not nothing—the  
 American aborigines are not nothing,
The infected in the immigrant hospital are not  
 nothing—the murderer or mean person is not  
The perpetual successions of shallow people are not  
 nothing as they go,
The lowest prostitute is not nothing—the mocker of  
 religion is not nothing as he goes.
31I shall go with the rest—we have satisfaction, I have dreamed that we are not to be changed so  
 much, nor the law of us changed,
I have dreamed that heroes and good-doers shall  
 be under the present and past law,
And that murderers, drunkards, liars, shall be under  
 the present and past law,
For I have dreamed that the law they are under now  
 is enough.
32And I have dreamed that the satisfaction is not so  
 much changed, and that there is no life with- 
 out satisfaction;
What is the earth? what are body and Soul, without  
  [ begin page 447 ]ppp.01500.455.jpg 33I shall go with the rest, We cannot be stopped at a given point—that is no  
To show us a good thing, or a few good things, for a  
 space of time—that is no satisfaction,
We must have the indestructible breed of the best, 
 regardless of time.
34If otherwise, all these things came but to ashes of  
If maggots and rats ended us, then alarm! for we are  
Then indeed suspicion of death.
35Do you suspect death? If I were to suspect death, I  
 should die now,
Do you think I could walk pleasantly and well-suited  
 toward annihilation?
36Pleasantly and well-suited I walk, Whither I walk I cannot define, but I know it is good, The whole universe indicates that it is good, The past and the present indicate that it is good. 37How beautiful and perfect are the animals! How  
 perfect is my Soul!
How perfect the earth, and the minutest thing upon  
What is called good is perfect, and what is called bad  
 is just as perfect,
The vegetables and minerals are all perfect, and the  
 imponderable fluids are perfect;
Slowly and surely they have passed on to this, and  
 slowly and surely they yet pass on.
  [ begin page 448 ]ppp.01500.456.jpg 38My Soul! if I realize you, I have satisfaction, Animals and vegetables! if I realize you, I have sat- 
Laws of the earth and air! if I realize you, I have  
39I cannot define my satisfaction, yet it is so, I cannot define my life, yet it is so. 40O it comes to me now! I swear I think now that everything without excep- 
 tion has an eternal Soul!
The trees have, rooted in the ground! the weeds of  
 the sea have! the animals!
41I swear I think there is nothing but immortality! That the exquisite scheme is for it, and the nebulous  
 float is for it, and the cohering is for it!
And all preparation is for it! and identity is for it! 
 and life and death are altogether for it!
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