1 GREAT are the mythsâ€”I too delight in them; Great are Adam and Eveâ€”I too look back and accept them; Great the risen and fallen nations, and their poets, women, sages, inventors, rulers, warriors, and priests. Great is Liberty! great is Equality! I am their follower; Helmsmen of nations, choose your craft! where you sail, I sail, I weather it out with you, or sink with you.
Great is Youthâ€”equally great is Old Ageâ€”great are the Day and Night; Great is Wealthâ€”great is Povertyâ€”great is Expressionâ€”great is Silence.
Youth, large, lusty, lovingâ€”Youth, full of grace, force, fascination! Do you know that Old Age may come after you, with equal grace, force, fascination?
Day, full-blown and splendidâ€”Day of the immense sun, action, ambition, laughter, The Night follows close, with millions of suns, and sleep, and restoring darkness.
Wealth, with the flush hand, fine clothes, hospitality; But then the Soulâ€™s wealth, which is candor, knowledge, pride, enfolding love; (Who goes for men and women showing Poverty richer than wealth?)
Expression of speech! in what is written or said, forget not that Silence is also expressive, That anguish as hot as the hottest, and contempt as cold as the coldest, may be without words.
2 Great is the Earth, and the way it became what it is; Do you imagine it has stopt at this? the increase abandonâ€™d? Understand then that it goes as far onward from this, as this is from the times when it lay in covering waters and gases, before man had appearâ€™d.
Great is the quality of Truth in man; The quality of truth in man supports itself through all changes, It is inevitably in the manâ€”he and it are in love, and never leave each other.
The truth in man is no dictum, it is vital as eyesight; If there be any Soul, there is truthâ€”if there be man or woman there is truthâ€”if there be physical or moral, there is truth; If there be equilibrium or volition, there is truthâ€”if there be things at all upon the earth, there is truth.
O truth of the earth! I am determinâ€™d to press my way toward you; Sound your voice! I scale mountains, or dive in the sea after you.
3 Great is Languageâ€”it is the mightiest of the sciences, It is the fulness, color, form, diversity of the earth, and of men and women, and of all qualities and processes; It is greater than wealthâ€”it is greater than buildings, ships, religions, paintings, music.
Great is the English speechâ€”what speech is so great as the English? Great is the English broodâ€”what brood has so vast a destiny as the English? It is the mother of the brood that must rule the earth with the new rule; The new rule shall rule as the Soul rules, and as the love, justice, equality in the Soul rule.
Great is Lawâ€”great are the few old land-marks of the law, They are the same in all times, and shall not be disturbâ€™d.
4 Great is Justice! Justice is not settled by legislators and lawsâ€”it is in the Soul; It cannot be varied by statutes, any more than love, pride, the attraction of gravity, can; It is immutableâ€”it does not depend on majoritiesâ€”majorities or what not, come at last before the same passionless and exact tribunal.
For justice are the grand natural lawyers, and perfect judgesâ€”is it in their Souls; It is well assortedâ€”they have not studied for nothingâ€”the great includes the less; They rule on the highest groundsâ€”they oversee all eras, states, administrations.
The perfect judge fears nothingâ€”he could go front to front before God; Before the perfect judge all shall stand backâ€”life and death shall stand backâ€”heaven and hell shall stand back.
5 Great is Life, real and mystical, wherever and whoever; Great is Deathâ€”sure as life holds all parts together, Death holds all parts together.
Has Life much purport?â€”Ah, Death has the greatest purport.