THE OPEN ROAD


O, to know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls.
All other progress is the needed emblem and sustenance of the progress of the souls of men and women along the grand roads of the universe,
All parts away before the procession of souls along the grand roads of the universe,
All religion, all solid things, arts, governments—all that was or is apparent upon this globe or any globe, falls into niches and corners before the procession of souls along the grand roads of the universe.

They go! they go!
Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,
A procession without halt, apparent at times, and hid at times,
No eye that ever saw the starting, no eye that ever need wait for the ending.
Behold! (for still the procession moves,)
Where any one goes, however ahead, the rest duly coming, however far behind,
None were or will be hurried, none were or will be retarded.
I know that they go, but I know not where they go,
But I know that they go toward the best—toward something great.

O, to see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it,
To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may reach it and pass it,
To see no being, not God’s or any, but you also go thither,
To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you,
However long but it stretches and waits for you,
To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they tend to,
Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys.

Ever the growth, the rounding of the circle,
Ever the summit and the merge at last—to surely start again,
The thoughtful merge and the outlet again—
Who need be afraid of the merge?

NEXT: The Poet on the Open Road