Excerpts from Song of the Open Road by Whitman
Trip Start May 31, 2007
107Trip End May 20, 2008
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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.
From this hour freedom!
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, and 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.
I am larger, better than I thought;
I did not know I held so much goodness.
All seems beautiful to me;
I can repeat over to men and women, You have done such good to me, I would do the
same to you.
I will recruit for myself and you as I go;
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go;
I will toss the new gladness and roughness among them;
Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me;
Whoever accepts me, he or she shall be blessed, and shall bless me.
Now I reexamine 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.
The Soul travels;
The body does not travel as much as the soul;
The body has just as great a work as the soul, and parts away at last for the journeys of the
All parts away for the progress of souls;
All religion, all solid things, arts, governments, - all that was or is apparent upon this
globe or any globe, fills into niches and corners before the procession of Souls along the
grand roads of the universe.
Of the progress of the souls of men and women along the grand roads of the universe, all
other progress is the needed emblem and sustenance.
Forever alive, forever forward,
Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent, feeble, dissatisfied,
Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,
They go! they go! I know that they go, but I know not where they go;
But I know that they go toward the best - toward something great.
Mon enfant! I give you my hand!
I give you my love, more precious than money,
I give you myself, before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?