Song of the Answerer
Song of the Answerer
Now list to my morning's romanza, I tell the signs of the
To the cities and farms I sing as they
spread in the sunshine
A young man comes to me bearing a message from his brother,
How shall the young man know the
whether and when of his
Tell him to send me the signs.
And I stand before the young man face to face, and take his
right hand in my left hand and his left hand
in my right hand,
And I answer for his brother and for men, and I answer for him
that answers for all, and
send these signs.
Him all wait for, him all yield up to, his word is decisive
Him they accept, in him lave, in him
perceive themselves as
Him they immerse and he immerses them.
Beautiful women, the haughtiest nations, laws, the landscape,
The profound earth and
its attributes and the unquiet ocean,
(so tell I my morning's romanza,)
All enjoyments and properties and
money, and whatever money
The best farms, others toiling and planting and he unavoidably
The noblest and costliest cities, others grading and building and he
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 anybody.
He puts things in their attitudes,
He puts to-day out of himself with plasticity and love,
He places his own
times, reminiscences, parents, brothers and
sisters, associations, employment, politics, so that the rest
never shame them afterward, nor assume to command them.
He is the Answerer,
What can be answer'd he answers, and what cannot be answer'd
he shows how it
cannot be answer'd.
A man is a summons and challenge,
(It is vain to skulk do you hear that mocking and laughter?
you hear the ironical echoes?)
Books, friendships, philosophers, priests, action, pleasure,
pride, beat up and down seeking to give satisfaction,
indicates the satisfaction, and indicates them that beat up
and down also.
Whichever the sex, whatever the season or place, he may go
freshly and gently and safely by day or by
He has the pass-key of hearts, to him the response of the
prying of hands on the knobs.
His 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 blessed.
Every existence has its idiom, every thing 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.
He 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
And both understand him and know that his speech
He walks with perfect ease in the capitol,
He walks among the Congress, and one Representative says
to another, Here is our equal appearing and new.
Then the mechanics take him for a mechanic,
And the soldiers suppose him to be a soldier, and the
that he has follow'd the sea,
And the authors take him for an author, and the artists for
the laborers perceive he could labor with them and love
No matter what the work is, that he is the