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
Draw nigh and commence,
It is no lesson . . . it lets down the bars to a good
And that to another . . . and every one to another
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
I lie abstracted and hear beautiful tales of things
and the reasons of things,
They are so beautiful; and 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
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
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
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
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
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
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 around 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.