It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth. Such a deed seizes upon the hearts of the whole race of men,. Its effusion of strength and will overwhelms law and mocks all authority and all argument against it. Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,. Applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content,. Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;. Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul. Now I re-examine philosophies and religions,.
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They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the spacious clouds and along the landscape and flowing currents. Here is a man tallied—he realizes here what he has in him,. The past, the future, majesty, love—if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them. Where is he who tears off the husks for you and me? Where is he that undoes stratagems and envelopes for you and me?
Do you know what it is as you pass to be loved by strangers? Do you know the talk of those turning eye-balls? These yearnings why are they?
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Why are there men and women that while they are nigh me the sunlight expands my blood? Why when they leave me do my pennants of joy sink flat and lank? Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me? I think they hang there winter and summer on those trees and always drop fruit as I pass;. What is it I interchange so suddenly with strangers? What with some driver as I ride on the seat by his side? What with some fisherman drawing his seine by the shore as I walk by and pause? The efflux of the soul is happiness, here is happiness,.
I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times,. Now it flows unto us, we are rightly charged. Here rises the fluid and attaching character,. The fluid and attaching character is the freshness and sweetness of man and woman,. The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter every day out of the roots of themselves, than it sprouts fresh and sweet continually out of itself. Toward the fluid and attaching character exudes the sweat of the love of young and old,.
Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact. Traveling with me you find what never tires. The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first,.
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I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell. However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling we cannot remain here,. However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are permitted to receive it but a little while. We will go where winds blow, waves dash, and the Yankee clipper speeds by under full sail.
Health, defiance, gayety, self-esteem, curiosity;. From your formules, O bat-eyed and materialistic priests. The stale cadaver blocks up the passage—the burial waits no longer. He traveling with me needs the best blood, thews, endurance,. None may come to the trial till he or she bring courage and health,. Come not here if you have already spent the best of yourself,. I and mine do not convince by arguments, similes, rhymes,. I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes,.
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,. You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who remain behind you,. What beckonings of love you receive you shall only answer with passionate kisses of parting,. They too are on the road—they are the swift and majestic men—they are the greatest women,. Enjoyers of calms of seas and storms of seas,. Sailors of many a ship, walkers of many a mile of land,. Trusters of men and women, observers of cities, solitary toilers,. Pausers and contemplators of tufts, blossoms, shells of the shore,.
Dancers at wedding-dances, kissers of brides, tender helpers of children, bearers of children,.
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Soldiers of revolts, standers by gaping graves, lowerers-down of coffins,. Journeyers over consecutive seasons, over the years, the curious years each emerging from that which preceded it,. Journeyers as with companions, namely their own diverse phases,. Forth-steppers from the latent unrealized baby-days,. Journeyers with their own sublime old age of manhood or womanhood,. Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the universe,. Old age, flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death.
To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights,. To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they tend to,. Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys,.
To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it,. To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may reach it and pass it,. To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you, however long but it stretches and waits for you,. To see no possession but you may possess it, enjoying all without labor or purchase, abstracting the feast yet not abstracting one particle of it,.
To take to your use out of the compact cities as you pass through,. To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wherever you go,.
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To gather the minds of men out of their brains as you encounter them, to gather the love out of their hearts,. To take your lovers on the road with you, for all that you leave them behind you,. To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls. All religion, all solid things, arts, governments—all that was or is apparent upon this globe or any globe, falls into niches and corners before the procession of souls along the grand roads of the universe.
Of the progress of the souls of men and women along the grand roads of the universe, all other progress is the needed emblem and sustenance. Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent, feeble, dissatisfied,. Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,. They go! I know that they go, but I know not where they go,.
But I know that they go toward the best—toward something great. Whoever you are, come forth! You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house, though you built it, or though it has been built for you.
Out of the dark confinement! It is useless to protest, I know all and expose it. Through the laughter, dancing, dining, supping, of people,. Behold a secret silent loathing and despair. No husband, no wife, no friend, trusted to hear the confession,. Another self, a duplicate of every one, skulking and hiding it goes,. Formless and wordless through the streets of the cities, polite and bland in the parlors,.
In the cars of railroads, in steamboats, in the public assembly,. Home to the houses of men and women, at the table, in the bedroom, everywhere,. Young readers are captivated by the books' characters - their exuberance, courage, vulnerability. These are stories that touch the lives of young people, a reminder that, for all the changes in the world over the last century, some things remain the same.
There's laughter, intrigue, tragedy, and romance in these tales of a bygone era that resonate with readers young and old today. The reading level of the Trolley Days Series is 9th grade; content and themes are appropriate for upper middle school through college. During the early chapters, the young reader will quickly bond with the main characters. By the novel's end, the student reader has recognized that the problems faced by Claire, Fergal, Tom, Jack and Anne in Not surprisingly, as soon as the last page is turned and the final chapter is discussed, students are eagerly plying us with questions regarding what might happen next with these characters who have , during the course of the semester, be come a part of their own young lives.
Joanne Poitras-Smith, English Department. Holyoke Community College.