O to attract by more than attraction!
How it is I know not—yet behold! the something which
obeys none of the rest,
It is offensive, never defensive—yet how magnetic it draws.
O to struggle against great odds, to meet enemies
To be entirely alone with them, to find how much one can
To look strife, torture, prison, popular odium, face to face!
To mount the scaffold, to advance to the muzzles of guns
with perfect nonchalance!
To be indeed a God!
O to sail to sea in a ship!
To leave this steady unendurable land,
To leave the tiresome sameness of the streets, the sidewalks
and the houses,
To leave you O solid motionless land, and entering a
To sail and sail and sail!
Excerpted from “A Song of Joys”, by Walt Whitman, lines 147-159.