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Walt Whitman - Manhattan Streets I Saunter’d, Pondering.

1
MANHATTAN’S streets I saunter’d, pondering, 
On time, space, reality—on such as these, and abreast with them, prudence. 
  
2
After all, the last explanation remains to be made about prudence; 
Little and large alike drop quietly aside from the prudence that suits immortality. 
  
The Soul is of itself;
All verges to it—all has reference to what ensues; 
All that a person does, says, thinks, is of consequence; 
Not a move can a man or woman make, that affects him or her in a day, month, any part of
    the
	direct
	life-time, or the hour of death, but the same affects him or her onward afterward through
    the
	indirect life-time. 
  
3
The indirect is just as much as the direct, 
The spirit receives from the body just as much as it gives to the body, if not more.
  
Not one word or deed—not venereal sore, discoloration, privacy of the onanist,
    putridity
	of
	gluttons or rum-drinkers, peculation, cunning, betrayal, murder, seduction, prostitution,
    but
	has
	results beyond death, as really as before death. 
  
4
Charity and personal force are the only investments worth anything. 
  
No specification is necessary—all that a male or female does, that is vigorous,
	benevolent,
	clean, is so much profit to him or her, in the unshakable order of the universe, and
    through
	the
	whole scope of it forever. 
  
5
Who has been wise, receives interest, 
Savage, felon, President, judge, farmer, sailor, mechanic, literat, young, old, it is the
    same,
The interest will come round—all will come round. 
  
Singly, wholly, to affect now, affected their time, will forever affect all of the past,
    and
	all of
	the present, and all of the future, 
All the brave actions of war and peace, 
All help given to relatives, strangers, the poor, old, sorrowful, young children, widows,
    the
	sick,
	and to shunn’d persons, 
All furtherance of fugitives, and of the escape of slaves,
All self-denial that stood steady and aloof on wrecks, and saw others fill the seats of
    the
	boats, 
All offering of substance or life for the good old cause, or for a friend’s sake, or
	opinion’s sake, 
All pains of enthusiasts, scoff’d at by their neighbors, 
All the limitless sweet love and precious suffering of mothers, 
All honest men baffled in strifes recorded or unrecorded,
All the grandeur and good of ancient nations whose fragments we inherit, 
All the good of the dozens of ancient nations unknown to us by name, date, location, 
All that was ever manfully begun, whether it succeeded or no, 
All suggestions of the divine mind of man, or the divinity of his mouth, or the shaping of
    his
	great
	hands; 
All that is well thought or said this day on any part of the globe—or on any of the
	wandering
	stars, or on any of the fix’d stars, by those there as we are here;
All that is henceforth to be thought or done by you, whoever you are, or by any one; 
These inure, have inured, shall inure, to the identities from which they sprang, or shall
	spring. 
  
6
Did you guess anything lived only its moment? 
The world does not so exist—no parts palpable or impalpable so exist; 
No consummation exists without being from some long previous consummation—and that
    from
	some
	other,
Without the farthest conceivable one coming a bit nearer the beginning than any. 
  
7
Whatever satisfies Souls is true; 
Prudence entirely satisfies the craving and glut of Souls; 
Itself only finally satisfies the Soul; 
The Soul has that measureless pride which revolts from every lesson but its own.
  
8
Now I give you an inkling; 
Now I breathe the word of the prudence that walks abreast with time, space, reality, 
That answers the pride which refuses every lesson but its own. 
  
What is prudence, is indivisible, 
Declines to separate one part of life from every part,
Divides not the righteous from the unrighteous, or the living from the dead, 
Matches every thought or act by its correlative, 
Knows no possible forgiveness, or deputed atonement, 
Knows that the young man who composedly peril’d his life and lost it, has done
    exceedingly
	well
	for himself without doubt, 
That he who never peril’d his life, but retains it to old age in riches and ease, has
	probably
	achiev’d nothing for himself worth mentioning;
Knows that only that person has really learn’d, who has learn’d to prefer
    results, 
Who favors Body and Soul the same, 
Who perceives the indirect assuredly following the direct, 
Who in his spirit in any emergency whatever neither hurries or, avoids death.

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Added: Feb 7 2004 | Viewed: 10847 times | Comments and analysis of Manhattan Streets I Saunter’d, Pondering. by Walt Whitman Comments (1)

Manhattan Streets I Saunter’d, Pondering. - Comments and Information

Poet: Walt Whitman
Poem: 2. Manhattan Streets I Saunter’d, Pondering.
Volume: Leaves of Grass
- 9. Leaves of Grass
Year: Published/Written in 1900
Poem of the Day: Aug 15 2008

Comment 1 of 1, added on September 13th, 2013 at 4:58 PM.
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