The law of perfection is to each for itself and onward from itself, is profuse and impartial,
There is not a minute of the light or dark nor an acre of the earth and sea without it—nor any direction of the sky nor any turn of events.
O, nature! perfect in imperfection, I praise with electric voice,
Natural life of me faithfully praising things,
Eyes of my soul seeing perfection,
Corroborating forever the triumph of things.
The vegetables and minerals are all perfect,
And the imponderable fluids are perfect,
Illustrious whatever I see or hear or touch, to the last,
Illustrious every one!
Births have brought us richness and variety,
And other births will bring us richness and variety,
Manifold objects, no two alike and every one good.
Keep your places, objects than which none else is more lasting,
We fathom you not—we love you—there is perfection in you also,
Great or small, you furnish your parts toward eternity.
I do not call one greater and one smaller,
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars,
The smallest the same and the largest the same.
No one thing in the universe is inferior to another thing,
The insignificant is as big to me as any.
There can be nothing small or useless in the universe,
I do not doubt there is far more in trivialities, insects, weeds, rejected refuse, than I have supposed,
That which fills its period and place is equal to any.
The universe is duly in order, everything is in its place,
The bright suns I see and the dark suns I cannot see are in their place,
The palpable is in its place and the impalpable is in its place,
What has arrived is in its place and what waits shall be in its place.
The far advanced are to go on in their turns,
And the far behind are to come on in their turns.
There is in the make-up of every superior human identity a wondrous intuition of the absolute balance, in time and space, of the whole of this multifarious mad chaos of fraud, frivolity, hoggishness—this revel of fools, and incredible make-believe and general unsettledness—we call the world.
I know everything in this world is a compromise—
There is always an opposite word somewhere,
I find one side a balance and the antipodal side a balance.
I do not separate the learned from the unlearned, the white from the black, or the native from the immigrant just landed at the wharf,
Everyone appears excellent to me, and every male and female glorious.
Behold the eternal fitness and equanimity of things,
The great rondure, the cohesion of all—
Do you see O my brothers and sisters?
It is not chaos or death,
It is form, union, plan—it is eternal life—it is happiness,
A vast, clear scheme, each learner learning it for himself.
The heart of man alone is the one unbalanced and restless thing in the world,
But for all that, nigh, at hand, see, a wonder beyond any of them,
Namely, oneself, the darkest labyrinth, mightiest wonder.
NEXT: THE SELF