“It was a symphony of triumph.” (Atlas Shrugged) I’ve often tried to imagine this music, humming as I’ve walked along a city street, then whistling it in a rising melody. Once, years ago in Philadelphia, I almost got it. It was my own joyous music known only to me. Here it is in verse as close as I can get it.

I now read in this book all the joy-moving words
Of the music that’s soaring beyond any birds,
That is love that’s desire rendered action so real
Of the man who is rising to meet his ideal,
And he strides in his rising through clouds growing bright
From the rising inside him of freedom in flight
That en-wings and uplifts him and carries him on
To his dreamland of being that dares to be dawn!
He is man-rise in his rise, arising as one
With man himself father in man himself son!
And the on-moving beat of it, steady and sure,
And the up-going melody, soaring to soar,
And the climb of the climbing and rise of the rise
Swirls in and up-takes me to ecstasy’s highs!
I feel greater than buildings, than cities, than earth;
There is everywhere triumph and glory and worth!
I am goodness in gladness, sure right in delight;
I’m the blast of my trumpet of bountiful might!
And the on-going blare of me, steady and sure,
And the up-going thrust of me, soaring to soar,
And the climb of my climbing and rise of my rise
Is my passionate mind all apprised my prize!
Then it’s step after step in solidity true
With the wind at my back in my valley green-blue!

Then a sound down below from the depth of the times
Comes with wailings of woe seeking mercy for crimes.
But their damning of man deserves justice full fair
And I stride in my wisdom too joyful to care.
Let them wallow in pity and hatred and pain,
Let them crack up in magic, pretending they’ve gain,
Let them worship the ghosts of the souls they have lost,
Adding wounds of self-biting to suffering’s cost,
And with cowardice grim, never looking within,
But evading self cause—that is cause of their sin,
As they blame and keep blaming the rational mind
Till they’re savages shrunk in their ignorance blind!

I am self-resurrected on think-wings of light;
Only here is spring cheering of unchallenged right;
I am far from numb masses, alone in clean space,
Stepping live to the music of manhood’s high place.
And the guilt-cry of “Selfish!” I make “Ego is pure!”
And what echoes around me is, “I am, for sure!”
And this lyric lands gladness all over the earth
Touching every self-leader, self-dreamer, with worth!
And the on-moving flow of it, steady and sweet,
And the on-going grasp of men’s minds in its heat,
In the forge of the welding of will to the real,
That invites their re-waking to stake their ideal,
Swirls in and thrusts out all the mystical weeds,
All the slag and the waste of foul fuzz-feely creeds,
All the kneeling to evil that leads men to kill
That strong spirit inside them of self-starting will.
And the joy-beating bells of the beauty of man
Are repeating with passion, “I live, ’cause I can!”

I am first of my living, last end of my end;
I am second to nothing, to naught do I bend.
I am motor of music; my lyric is me;
I’m the meaning of time in the chords I set free!
All the swelling of notes in the sweeping of rhyme
Run on staff-lines of light for my thoughts that now climb
Up the cliffs of hard work to the places unknown
Where the gain of creation is greatness self-flown!
Hear the bells! Hear the trumpets! They ring and they blare!
The life orchestra Man in grand harmony fair!
All the strings of his knowledge he vibrates in one,
Self-conducting his rising with rays of the sun,
Till the mind, pianistic, individual, right,
Strikes climax on climax of height upon height!
Now I’m lost in the music, yet find I am free
In the crash of the cymbals for all that will be!

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