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Books by Whitman

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1ALL 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.

2After all, the last explanation remains to be made
about prudence,
Little and large alike drop quietly aside from the
prudence that suits immortality.

3The 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 afterward
through the indirect life-time.

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4The indirect is more than the direct,
The spirit receives from the body just as much as it
gives to the body, if not more.

5Not one word or deed—not venereal sore, discolor-
ation, 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 death.

6Charity and personal force are the only investments
worth anything.

7No 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.

8Who has been wise, receives interest,
Savage, felon, President, judge, farmer, sailor, me-
chanic, young, old, it is the same,
The interest will come round—all will come round.

9Singly, 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,
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

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All self-denial that stood steady and aloof on wrecks,
and saw others fill the seats of the boats,
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 neighbors,
All the limitless sweet love and precious suffering of
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 un-
known 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
All that is well thought or said this day on any part
of the globe—or on any of the wandering stars,
or on any of the fixed stars, by those there as we
are here,
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 spring.

10Did 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,

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Without the farthest conceivable one coming a bit
nearer the beginning than any.

11Whatever satisfies Souls is true,
Prudence entirely satisfies the craving and glut of
Itself finally satisfies the Soul,
The Soul has that measureless pride which revolts
from every lesson but its own.

12Now 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 lesson but
its own.

13What is prudence, is indivisible,
Declines to separate one part of life from every part,
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 atonement,
Knows that the young man who composedly perilled
his life and lost it, has done exceeding well for
himself, without doubt,
That he who never perilled his life, but retains it to
old age in riches and ease, has probably achieved
nothing for himself worth mentioning;
Knows that only the person has really learned, who
has learned to prefer results,
Who favors body and Soul the same,
Who perceives the indirect assuredly following the
Who in his spirit in any emergency whatever neither
hurries or avoids death.

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