Camerado, I gave you my hand one year ago…

I do not offer the old smooth prizes,

But offer rough new prizes,

These are the days that must happen to you:

You shall not heap what is called riches,

You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn

or achieve.

However sweet the laid-up stores,

However convenient the dwellings,

You shall not remain there.

However sheltered the port,

And however calm the waters,

You shall not anchor there.

However welcome the hospitality that welcomes you

You are permitted to receive it but a little while.

Afoot and lighthearted, take to the open road,

Healthy, free, the world before you,

The long brown path before you,

leading wherever you choose.

Say only to one another:

Camerado, I give you my hand!

I give you my love, more precious than money,

I give you myself before preaching or law:

Will you give me yourself?

Will you come travel with me?

Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

From Song of the Open Road by Walt Whitman.




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