Thou Reader Thou reader throbbest life and pride and love the same as I, Therefore for thee the following chants.
Prodigal, you have given me love—therefore I to you give love!
To Foreign Lands I heard that you ask’d for something to prove this puzzle the New World, And to define America, her athletic Democracy, Therefore I send you my poems that you behold in them what you wanted.
Perfume therefore my chant, O love, immortal love, Give me to bathe the memories of all dead soldiers, Shroud them, embalm them, cover them all over with tender pride.
The way is suspicious, the result uncertain, perhaps destructive, You would have to give up all else, I alone would expect to be your sole and exclusive standard, Your novitiate would even then be long and exhausting, The whole past theory of your life and all conformity to the lives around you would have to be abandon’d, Therefore release me now before troubling yourself any further, let go your hand from my shoulders, Put me down and depart on your way.
I will sing the song of companionship, I will show what alone must finally compact these, I believe these are to found their own ideal of manly love, indicating it in me, I will therefore let flame from me the burning fires that were threatening to consume me, I will lift what has too long kept down those smouldering fires, I will give them complete abandonment, I will write the evangel-poem of comrades and of love, For who but I should understand love with all its sorrow and joy?
…it is not for what I have put into it that I have written this book, Nor is it by reading it you will acquire it, Nor do those know me best who admire me and vauntingly praise me, Nor will the candidates for my love (unless at most a very few) prove victorious, Nor will my poems do good only, they will do just as much evil, perhaps more, For all is useless without that which you may guess at many times and not hit, that which I hinted at; Therefore release me and depart on your way.
…their call, I will raise with it immortal reverberations through the States, I will give an example to lovers to take permanent shape and will through the States, Through me shall the words be said to make death exhilarating, Give me your tone therefore O death, that I may accord with it, Give me yourself, for I see that you belong to me now above all, and are folded inseparably together, you love and death are, Nor will I allow you to balk me any more with what I was calling life, For…
Why I was not singing erewhile for you to follow, to understand—nor am I now; (I have been born of the same as the war was born, The drum-corps’ rattle is ever to me sweet music, I love well the martial dirge, With slow wail and convulsive throb leading the officer’s funeral;) What to such as you anyhow such a poet as I? therefore leave my works, And go lull yourself with what you can understand, and with piano-tunes, For I lull nobody, and you will never understand me.
…executing righteous judgments, As the Earth, the Father, the brown old Kronos, with laws, Aged beyond computation, yet never new, ever with those mighty laws rolling, Relentless I forgive no man—whoever sins dies—I will have that man’s life; Therefore let none expect mercy—have the seasons, gravitation, the appointed days, mercy? no more have I, But as the seasons and gravitation, and as all the appointed days that forgive not, I dispense from this side judgments inexorable without the…
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Kim is taller than Ashley. Ashley is taller than Anna. Therefore, Kim is taller than Anna.
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