by Walt Whitman
Vocalism, measure, concentration, determination, and the divine power to speak words;
Are you full-lung’d and limber-lipp’d from long trial? from vigorous practice? from physique?
Do you move in these broad lands as broad as they?
Come duly to the divine power to speak words?
For only at last after many years, after chastity, friendship, procreation, prudence, and nakedness,
After treading ground and breasting river and lake,
After a loosen’d throat, after absorbing eras, temperaments, races,after knowledge, freedom, crimes,
After complete faith, after clarifyings, elevations, and removing obstructions,
After these and more, it is just possible there comes to a man, woman, the divine power to speak words;
Then toward that man or that woman swiftly hasten all—none refuse, all attend,
Armies, ships, antiquities, libraries, paintings, machines, cities, hate, despair, amity, pain, theft, murder, aspiration, form
in close ranks,
They debouch as they are wanted to march obediently through the mouth of that man or that woman.
O what is it in me that makes me tremble so at voices?
Surely whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her I shall follow,
As the water follows the moon, silently, with fluid steps, anywhere around the globe.
All waits for the right voices;
Where is the practis’d and perfect organ? where is the develop’d soul?
For I see every word utter’d thence has deeper, sweeter, new sounds, impossible on less terms.
I see brains and lips closed, tympans and temples unstruck,
Until that comes which has the quality to strike and to unclose,
Until that comes which has the quality to bring forth what lies slumbering forever ready in all words.
Composer(s): John Harbison
Voice Type: SopranoBuy via Music Sales Classical