Leaves of Grass (1855)/Who learns my lesson complete?
Who learns my lesson complete?
Boss and journeyman and apprentice? .... churchman and atheist?
The stupid and the wise thinker .... parents and offspring .... merchant and clerk and porter and customer .... editor, author, artist and schoolboy?
Draw nigh and commence,
It is no lesson .... it lets down the bars to a good lesson,
And that to another .... and every one to another still.
The great laws take and effuse without argument,
I am of the same style, for I am their friend,
I love them quits and quits .... I do not halt and make salaams.
I lie abstracted and hear beautiful tales of things and the reasons of things,
They are so beautiful I nudge myself to listen.
I cannot say to any person what I hear .... I cannot say it to myself .... it is very wonderful.
It is no little matter, this round and delicious globe, moving so exactly in its orbit forever and ever, without one jolt or the untruth of a single second;
I do not think it was made in six days, nor in ten thousand years, nor ten decillions of years,
Nor planned and built one thing after another, as an architect plans and builds a house.
I do not think seventy years is the time of a man or woman,
Nor that seventy millions of years is the time of a man or woman,
Nor that years will ever stop the existence of me or any one else.
Is it wonderful that I should be immortal? as every one is immortal,
I know it is wonderful .... but my eyesight is equally wonderful .... and how I was conceived in my mother’s womb is equally wonderful,
And how I was not palpable once but am now .... and was born on the last day of May 1819 .... and passed from a babe in the creeping trance of three summers and three winters to articulate and walk .... are all equally wonderful.
And that I grew six feet high .... and that I have become a man thirty-six years old in 1855 .... and that I am here anyhow – are all equally wonderful;
And that my soul embraces you this hour, and we affect each other without ever seeing each other, and never perhaps to see each other, is every bit as wonderful:
And that I can think such thoughts as these is just as wonderful,
And that I can remind you, and you think them and know them to be true is just as wonderful,
And that the moon spins round the earth and on with the earth is equally wonderful,
And that they balance themselves with the sun and stars is equally wonderful.
Come I should like to hear you tell me what there is in yourself that is not just as wonderful,
And I should like to hear the name of anything between Sunday morning and Saturday night that is not just as wonderful.