one to follow it or
     has follow'd it,
No matter what the nation, that he might find his brothers
     and sisters there.

The English believe he comes of their English stock,
A Jew to the Jew he seems, a Russ to the Russ, usual and
     near, removed from none.

Whoever he looks at in the traveler's coffee-house claims him,
The Italian or Frenchman is sure, the German is sure, the
     Spaniard is sure, and the island Cuban is sure,

The engineer, the deck-hand on the great lakes, or on the
     Mississippi or St. Lawrence or Sacramento, or Hudson
     or Paumanok sound, claims him.

The gentleman of perfect blood acknowledges his perfect blood,
The insulter, the prostitute, the angry person, the beggar, see
     themselves in the ways of him, he strangely transmutes them,
They are not vile any more, they hardly know themselves they
     are so grown.


The indications and tally of time,
Perfect sanity shows the master among philosophs,
Time, always without break, indicates itself in parts,
What always indicates the poet is the crowd of the pleasant
     company of singers, and their words,
The words of the singers are the hours or minutes of the light
     or dark, but the words of the maker of poems are the
     general light and dark,
The maker of poems settles justice, reality, immortality,
His insight and power encircle things and the human race,
He is the glory and extract thus far of things and of the
     human race.

The singers do not beget, only the Poet begets,
The singers are welcom'd, understood, appear often enough,
     but rare has the day been, likewise the spot, of the birth
     of the maker of poems, the Answerer,
(Not every century nor every five centuries has contain'd
     such a day, for all its names.)

The singers of successive hours of centuries may have ostensible
     names, but the name of each of them is one of the singers,
The name of each is, eye-singer, ear-singer, head-singer,
     sweet-singer, night-singer, parlor-singer, love-singer,
     weird-singer, or something else.

All this time and at all times wait the words of true poems,
The words of true poems do not merely please,
The true poets are not followers of beauty but the august
     masters of beauty;
The greatness of sons is the exuding of the greatness of
     mothers and fathers,
The words of true poems are the tuft and final applause of

Divine instinct, breadth of vision, the law of reason, health,
     rudeness of body, withdrawnness,
Gayety, sun-tan, air-sweetness, such are some of the words
     of poems.

The sailor and traveler underlie the maker of poems, the
The builder, geometer, chemist, anatomist, phrenologist, artist,
     all these underlie the maker of poems, the Answerer.

The words of the true poems give you more than poems,
They give you to form for yourself poems, religions, politics,
     war, peace, behavior, histories, essays, daily life, and
     every thing else,
They balance ranks, colors, races, creeds, and the sexes,
They do not seek beauty, they are sought,
Forever touching them or close upon them follows beauty,
     longing, fain, love-sick.

They prepare for death, yet they are not the finish, but rather
     the outset,
They bring none to his or her terminus or to be content and full,
Whom they take they take into space to behold the birth of
     stars, to learn one of the meanings,
To launch off with absolute faith, to sweep through the ceaseless
     rings and never be quiet again.

1855 1881

  By PanEris using Melati.

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