1.
OF the visages of things—And of piercing through
        to the accepted hells beneath;
Of ugliness—To me there is just as much in it as
        there is in beauty—And now the ugliness of
        human beings is acceptable to me;
Of detected persons—To me, detected persons are
        not, in any respect, worse than undetected per–
        sons—and are not in any respect worse than I
        am myself;
Of criminals—To me, any judge, or any juror, is
        equally criminal—and any reputable person is
        also—and the President is also.
 
2.
OF waters, forests, hills;
Of the earth at large, whispering through medium of
        me;
Of vista—Suppose some sight in arriere, through the
        formative chaos, presuming the growth, fulness,
        life, now attain’d on the journey;
(But I see the road continued, and the journey ever
        continued;)
Of what was once lacking on earth, and in due time
        has become supplied—And of what will yet be
        supplied,
Because all I see and know, I believe to have purport
        in what will yet be supplied.
 
3.
OF persons arrived at high positions, ceremonies,
        wealth, scholarships, and the like;
To me, all that those persons have arrived at, sinks
        away from them, except as it results to their
        Bodies and Souls,
So that often to me they appear gaunt and naked;
And often, to me, each one mocks the others, and
        mocks himself or herself,
And of each one, the core of life, namely happiness,
        is full of the rotten excrement of maggots,
And often, to me, those men and women pass unwit–
        tingly the true realities of life, and go toward
        false realities,
And often, to me, they are alive after what custom has
        served them, but nothing more,
And often, to me, they are sad, hasty, unwaked son–
        nambules, walking the dusk.
 
4.
OF ownership—As if one fit to own things could not
        at pleasure enter upon all, and incorporate
        them into himself or herself;
Of Equality—As if it harm’d me, giving others the
        same chances and rights as myself—As if it
        were not indispensable to my own rights that
        others possess the same;
Of Justice—As if Justice could be anything but the
        same ample law, expounded by natural judges
        and saviors,
As if it might be this thing or that thing, according
        to decisions.
 
5.
As I sit with others, at a great feast, suddenly, while
        the music is playing,
To my mind, (whence it comes I know not,) spectral,
        in mist, of a wreck at sea,
Of the flower of the marine science of fifty generations,
        founder’d off the Northeast coast, and going
        down—Of the steamship Arctic going down,
Of the veil’d tableau—Women gather’d together on
        deck, pale, heroic, waiting the moment that
        draws so close—O the moment!
O the huge sob—A few bubbles—the white foam
        spirting up—And then the women gone,
Sinking there, while the passionless wet flows on—
        And I now pondering, Are those women indeed
        gone?
Are Souls drown’d and destroy’d so?
Is only matter triumphant?
 
6.
OF what I write from myself—As if that were not the
        resumé;
Of Histories—As if such, however complete, were not
        less complete than my poems;
As if the shreds, the records of nations, could possibly
        be as lasting as my poems;
As if here were not the amount of all nations, and of
        all the lives of heroes.
 
7.
OF obedience, faith, adhesiveness;
As I stand aloof and look, there is to me something
        profoundly affecting in large masses of men,
        following the lead of those who do not believe
        in men.

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