Souls of men and women! it is not you I call unseen, unheard, untouchable and untouching;
It is not you I go argue pro and con about, and to settle whether you are
alive or no;
I own publicly who you are, if nobody else owns.
Grown, half-grown, and babe, of this country and every country, indoors and
outdoors, one just as much as the other, I see,
And all else behind or through them.
The wife--and she is not one jot less than the husband;
The daughter--and she is just as good as the son;
The mother--and she is every bit as much as the father.
Offspring of ignorant and poor, boys apprenticed to trades,
Young fellows working on farms, and old fellows working on farms,
Sailor-men, merchant-men, coasters, immigrants,
All these I see--but nigher and farther the same I see;
None shall escape me, and none shall wish to escape me.
I bring what you much need, yet always have,
Not money, amours, dress, eating, but as good;
I send no agent or medium, offer no representative of value, but offer the
There is something that comes home to one now and perpetually;
It is not what is printed, preached, discussed--it eludes discussion and
It is not to be put in a book--it is not in this book;
It is for you, whoever you are--it is no farther from you than your hearing
and sight are from you;
It is hinted by nearest, commonest, readiest--it is ever provoked by them.
You may read in many languages, yet read nothing about it;
You may read the President's Message, and read nothing about it there;
Nothing in the reports from the State department or Treasury department, or
in the daily papers or the weekly papers,
Or in the census or revenue returns, prices current, or any accounts of