58. LVIII. THE GREAT LONGING.
O my soul, I have taught thee to say "to-day" as "once on a time" and
"formerly," and to dance thy measure over every Here and There and Yonder.
O my soul, I delivered thee from all by-places, I brushed down from thee
dust and spiders and twilight.
O my soul, I washed the petty shame and the by-place virtue from thee, and
persuaded thee to stand naked before the eyes of the sun.
With the storm that is called "spirit" did I blow over thy surging sea; all
clouds did I blow away from it; I strangled even the strangler called
O my soul, I gave thee the right to say Nay like the storm, and to say Yea
as the open heaven saith Yea: calm as the light remainest thou, and now
walkest through denying storms.
O my soul, I restored to thee liberty over the created and the uncreated;
and who knoweth, as thou knowest, the voluptuousness of the future?
O my soul, I taught thee the contempt which doth not come like worm-eating,
the great, the loving contempt, which loveth most where it contemneth most.
O my soul, I taught thee so to persuade that thou persuadest even the
grounds themselves to thee: like the sun, which persuadeth even the sea to
O my soul, I have taken from thee all obeying and knee-bending and homage-paying;
I have myself given thee the names, "Change of need" and "Fate."
O my soul, I have given thee new names and gay-coloured playthings, I have
called thee "Fate" and "the Circuit of circuits" and "the Navel-string of
time" and "the Azure bell."
O my soul, to thy domain gave I all wisdom to drink, all new wines, and
also all immemorially old strong wines of wisdom.
O my soul, every sun shed I upon thee, and every night and every silence
and every longing:--then grewest thou up for me as a vine.