The Open Road

(1997)

"The Open Road" is the second song in Rorem's massive song cycle Evidence of Things Not Seen.

The Open Road
by Walt Whitman


Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.


Henceforth I ask not good-fortune -- I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road.


The earth -- that is sufficient;
I do not want the constellations any nearer;
I know they are very well where they are;
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.


(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens;
I carry them, men and women -- I carry them with me wherever I go;
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them;
I am fill'd with them, and I will fill them in return.)


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