WALT WHITMAN: »This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.«
LEAVES OF GRASS, 1855
»When there are no more memories of heroes and martyrs,
And when all life and all the souls of men and women are discharged from any
part of the earth,
And the infidel come into full possession.
Then courage European revolter, revoltress!
For till all ceases neither must you cease.
I do not know what you are for. (I do not know what I am for myself, nor what
any thing is for,)
But I will search carefully for it even in being foil'd,
In defeat, poverty, misconception, imprisonment – for they too are great.
Did we think victory great?
So it is – but now it seems to me, when it cannot be help'd, that defeat
And that death and dismay are great.«
TO A FOIL'D EUROPEAN REVOLUTIONAIRE, 1856