A Song of Joys
A Song of Joys
O TO make the most jubilant song!
Full of music full of manhood, womanhood, infancy!
Full of common
employments full of grain and trees.
O for the voices of animals O for the swiftness and balance
O for the dropping of raindrops
in a song!
O for the sunshine and motion of waves in a song!
O the joy of my spirit it is uncaged it darts like
It is not enough to have this globe or a
I will have thousands of globes and all time.
O the engineer's joys! to go with a locomotive!
To hear the hiss of steam, the merry shriek, the steam-
the laughing locomotive!
To push with resistless way and speed off in the distance.
O the gleesome saunter over fields and hillsides!
The leaves and flowers of the commonest weeds, the
stillness of the woods,
The exquisite smell of the earth at daybreak, and all through
O the horseman's and horsewoman's joys!
The saddle, the gallop, the pressure upon the seat, the cool
gurgling by the ears and hair.
O the fireman's joys!
I hear the alarm at dead of night,
I hear bells, shouts! I pass the crowd, I run!
sight of the flames maddens me with pleasure.
O the joy of the strong-brawn'd fighter, towering in the arena
in perfect condition, conscious of power,
thirsting to meet
O the joy of that vast elemental sympathy which only the
human soul is capable of generating and emitting
and limitless floods.
O the mother's joys!
The watching, the endurance, the precious love, the anguish,
the patiently yielded
O the joy of increase, growth, recuperation,
The joy of soothing and pacifying, the joy of concord and
O to go back to the place where I was born,
To hear the birds sing once more,
To ramble about the house
and barn and over the fields
And through the orchard and along the old lanes once more.
O to have been brought up on bays, lagoons, creeks, or along
To continue and be employ'd
there all my life,
The briny and damp smell, the shore, the salt weeds exposed at
The work of
fishermen, the work of the eel-fisher and clam-fisher;
I come with my clam-rake and spade, I come with
Is the tide out? I join the group of clam-diggers on the flats,
I laugh and work with them, I
joke at my work like a mettle-some
In winter I take my eel-basket and eel-spear and travel
foot on the ice I have a small axe to cut holes in the ice,
Behold me well-clothed going gayly or returning in the afternoon,
my brood of tough boys accompanying
My brood of grown and part-grown boys, who love to be with no
one else so well as they love to be
By day to work with me, and by night to sleep with me.
Another time in warm weather out in a boat, to lift the lobster-pots
where they are sunk with heavy stones,
(I know the buoys,)
O the sweetness of the Fifth-month morning upon the water as I
row just before sunrise
toward the buoys,
I pull the wicker pots up slantingly, the dark green lobsters are
desperate with their
claws as I take them out, I insert wooden
pegs in the joints of their pincers,
I go to all the places one
after another, and then row back
to the shore,
There in a huge kettle of boiling water the lobsters shall
boil'd till their color becomes scarlet.