He is the highest dream of lovely light;
His arms and legs, a-sway as he does walk,
Shine forth in brilliant splendor down the street
As through the dawning hours on he goes,
His sun-like face and curling golden hair
At one with every passion pure and proud,
His shoulders and his chest invincible,
His body straight, superlative, at ease,
With sharp blue eyes sparkling with pure sight,
Devouring with happiest intent
Each door and window, every smooth hard wall,
Each tree and bush and sparrow on his way,
And as through purling flows of steam he strolls—
A living sunbeam passing through thin clouds—
He seems like some heroic god of old,
Who treads the earth to have that pleasure rare
Of being just a man some lyric while.
He has no shoes or clothes, but naked goes,
And people pass him by, but no one sees.
And then he hums a bit, and sometimes sings,
Or whistles up a tune that has no care—
A bit of gayness out to take the air.
And now he’s rising up along a tower
And no one tilts their head or lifts their eyes,
But I, I see great Industry supreme,
I see the beauty of man’s spirit free and right,
I see the wonder and the glory of his thought,
The sunshine more than sunrise of his deeds;
I see the peerless purposes of men
Who dream and work and reach, and dream again!
Then out and up and onward I fly, too;
I rise and follow fast with gladd’ning throat
That praises each rare man and woman strong
Who make of life one never-ending song!
And then I blink, and turn, and look around;
I see my gold reflection in a glass,
And I salute and smile, then sing and stroll along.