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18 — Poem of The Last Explanation of Prudence.

ALL day I have walked the city and talked with
my friends, and thought of prudence,
Of time, space, reality—of such as these, and
abreast with them, prudence.

After all, the last explanation remains to be made
about prudence,
Little and large alike drop quietly aside from the
prudence that suits immortality.

The soul is of itself,
All verges to it, all has reference to what ensues,
All that a person does, says, thinks, is of conse-
Not a move can a man or woman make, that
affects him or her in a day, month, any part
of the direct life-time, or the hour of death,
but the same affects him or her onward after-
ward through the indirect life-time.

The indirect is more than the direct,

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The spirit receives from the body just as much as
it gives to the body, if not more.

Not one word or deed—not venereal sore, dis-
coloration, privacy of the onanist, putridity of
gluttons or rum-drinkers, peculation, cunning,
betrayal, murder, seduction, prostitution, but
has results beyond death, as really as before

Charity and personal force are the only invest-
ments worth anything.

No specification is necessary—all that a male
or female does, that is vigorous, benevolent,
clean, is so much profit to him or her in the
unshakable order of the universe, and through
the whole scope of it forever.

Who has been wise, receives interest,
Savage, felon, President, judge, prostitute, farmer,
sailor, mechanic, young, old, it is the same,
The interest will come round—all will come

Singly, wholly, to affect now, affected their time,
will forever affect, all of the past, and all of
the present, and all of the future,
All the brave actions of war and peace,

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All help given to relatives, strangers, the poor, old,
sorrowful, young children, widows, the sick,
and to shunned persons,
All furtherance of fugitives, and of the escape of
All self-denial that stood steady and aloof on
wrecks, and saw others fill the seats of the
All offering of substance or life for the good old
cause, or for a friend's sake, or opinion's sake,
All pains of enthusiasts, scoffed at by their neigh-
All the limitless sweet love and precious suffering
of mothers,
All honest men baffled in strifes recorded or unre-
All the grandeur and good of ancient nations
whose fragments we inherit,
All the good of the hundreds of ancient nations
unknown to us by name, date, location,
All that was ever manfully begun, whether it suc-
ceeded or no,
All suggestions of the divine mind of man, or the
divinity of his mouth, or the shaping of his
great hands;
All that is well thought or said this day on any
part of the globe—or on any of the wander-
ing stars, or on any of the fixed stars, by
those there as we are here,

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All that is henceforth to be thought or done by
you, whoever you are, or by any one,
These inure, have inured, shall inure, to the
identities from which they sprang, or shall

Did you guess anything lived only its moment?
The world does not so exist—no parts palpable
or impalpable so exist,
No consummation exists without being from some
long previous consummation, and that from
some other, without the farthest conceivable
one coming a bit nearer the beginning than

Whatever satisfies souls is true,
Prudence satisfies the craving and glut of souls.

Itself finally satisfies the soul,
The soul has that measureless pride which re-
volts from every lesson but its own.

Now I give you an inkling,
Now I breathe the word of the prudence that
walks abreast with time, space, reality,
That answers the pride which refuses every les-
son but its own.

What is prudence, is indivisible,

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Declines to separate one part of life from every
Divides not the righteous from the unrighteous,
or the living from the dead,
Matches every thought or act by its correlative,
Knows no possible forgiveness or deputed atone-
Knows that the young man who composedly
periled his life and lost it, has done exceeding
well for himself, without doubt,
That he who never periled his life, but retains it
to old age in riches and ease, has probably
achieved nothing for himself worth men-
Knows that only the person has learned, who has
learned to prefer results,
Who favors body and soul the same,
Who perceives the indirect assuredly following
the direct,
Who in his spirit in any emergency whatever
neither hurries or avoids death.


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