Is It You?

Beauty am I;
I look on through
The earth and sky,
Each part, the whole,
For one like I
With golden soul.
Could it be you?

And one said no and one said nay,
And one turned round
Another way,
Till one of grim,
Resentful face
Did falsely smile
For beauty’s grace.
And Beauty frowned
A deadly frown.

Then off, afar,
Went beauty then,
Away from crowds
Of copied men,
To where, alone,
A young lad sat
And mused alone
On this and that.

His parents sent
Him not to school,
And not to church
To play at fool.
But learned he how
To milk a cow,
To sweep the barn
And keep it clean,
To mend a fence
And set it straight,
To work alone
With no helpmate
And trust his judgment
Sure as fate.

At times he’d stop
To feel the wind,
Or touch of cloud-drop
On his skin.
He’d feel secure
To think that this
Was just his other
Mother’s kiss.
And then he’d make,
Within his brain,
A song of lovely,
Lovely grain
That, got with sweat
Of mind and hand,
And new machines
Invented true,
Praised man as master
Of his gain
In darling sun
And lovely rain.

And now, all still,
In rapture wrought,
Upon high hill
He thought and thought.

And Beauty hugged
Her breast and stood;
Astonished, she,
At him so good.
And Beauty sang
Her worship song,
And in the mind
Of he who heard
Great joy-bells rang
Of love so strong
He felt as kind
As winging bird
To all that he
Could hear and see.
Then named himself,
“I’m Liberty.”

With laughing eyes
He looked and saw
The seedling of
Self-nourished law:
In questing soul
There is no sin,
But beauty born
To rise and win.
And truly free
(He felt it whole)
Was an un-copied
Sweet reason won
For one like he,
Forever beautiful
And free!

The up he stood
Upon his hill
And made sure songs
Of thoughtful will,
Creating measures,
Words, and fire,
Of mental pleasures
Boiling higher
Till, bursting out
On tongue unbound,
He filled the valley
All around!

And all around
Was sound of joy,
And all around
Loud echo flew!
And here and there
Some lone man heard
And felt himself
A man made new!

And then he stopped
And walked away,
While beauty
In his mind held sway.
And some men said
Was just a dream,
And others said
A dev’lish scheme,
And copied others
Words like this
In ignorance
And joyless bliss.

Now in high place,
From copies far,
Strong Liberty,
Proud Beauty, are,
But there’s no trace
A man can find
Unless he be
One self-owned mind.

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