Thoughts

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.