SONG OF THE OPEN ROAD
By Walt Whitman
Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, Healthy, free, the world before me, The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune, Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing, Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms, Strong and content I travel the open road….
From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines, Going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently,but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me. I inhale great draughts of space, The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine….
Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons, It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth….
Now I re-examine philosophies and religions, They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the spacious clouds and along the landscape and flowing currents.
Here is realization, Here is a man tallied—he realizes here what he has in him, The past, the future, majesty, love—if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them….
Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d, I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.