A Reading: From “Song of the Open Road”

Walt Whitman Reading   From “Song of the Open Road”

I do not offer the old smooth prizes,

but offer rough new prizes;

These are the days that must happen to you:

You shall not heap up what is called riches,

You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.

However sweet these laid up stores,

however convenient this dwelling,

you shall not remain here.

However sheltered this port,

and however calm these waters,

you shall not anchor here.

However welcome this hospitality that surrounds you,

you are permitted to receive it but a little while.

Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road,

Healthy, free, the world before you,

The long brown path before you, leading wherever you choose.

You have only to say to one another:

I give you my hand!

I give you my love, more precious than money,

I give you myself before preaching or law:

Will you give me yourself?

Will you come travel with me?

Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

Charlie and Cheryl Cavalconte