I, a vagabond, gypsy, lover forever of freedom,
Come to you who are arrogant, proud, and fevered with civilization—
Come with a tonic of sunlight, bottled in wild, careless acres,
To cure you with secrets as old as the breathing of men;
Come with the clean north wind in my nostrils,
To blow out the dust and the smoke of your lives in a great blast of beauty;
Come with a chaos of wild-flowers, grouped in a lovely disorder,
To shame all your gardens of maddening, cloying perfection.
I have in my veins all the sweet unrest of the wild places,
And if you toss me aside I will come hither again on the morrow;
For I am a force that you cannot deny;
I am an offering that you finally must accept,
For I am the herald of new things in a new land.

If you knew what savagery I have endured
That you might know peace;
If you knew how often mine eyes have been blinded
To give you light;
If you knew how many times mine ears have been deafened
To give you sound;
If you knew the chains and manacles I have worn
To give you freedom,
Then would you open the doors you have closed in my face
And recant all you have spoken against me
And drink my song to the full measure of my cup.

I am a renegade, laughing at rules and laws,
And my whims are my king and my royal family.
I am an adventurer, delving in joy and sorrow
And love and friendship and the white quarries of truth.
I am a plunderer, taking all that the sages have left me
And adding thereto, that the children to come may have peace.
I am a highwayman, stealing the gold of the dawn
And the star-heavy, blue purple robe of the night.
I hold up the wind for its fragrance and wrestle the sea
With my brown, naked arms, for the tang of its salt.
I am a pirate, a gay, laughing profligate pirate
Sailing the seas of delight, where my loot
Is diamonds of sunlight and the cold pearls of the moon.

My song is a lily in darkness, keeping the whiteness of truth
To guide the lost soul of the night up to dawn.
My song is a cactus that stings him who touches,
With misunderstanding, its sharp, biting needles,
But blesses with beauty of yellow and crimson and all flaming colors
Whoever beholds it with wisdom and love.

My song is a roseate rug, yet not of the Orient.
Here is the weave of it: seaweed, curled black with salt,
Under the cold, high cliffs of Gaspe;
Pine-shadowed snow, at the dome of the Selkirks,
Burning with suns and flaming with moons and remaining forever;
Sands from the restless and changeable dunes of Wasaga;
Slim, hardy reeds in the broad, lonely marshes
Where James Bay falters between her allegiance
To land and the gray, green of water;
Gold suns that slip from the world at Alberni,
Warming the seas with their fires;
Threads of blue mist from the indolent valleys
Of the low, lovely, lounging Laurentians;
Sighs of the hemlock and snow-loving tamarack,
Where the trees march to the south in Saskatchewan;
Firs that leap up from dark Capilano
Where music glides down a long stair to the sea;
Orange and purple and crimson and bronze
From the gay palette of gorgeous October
In the lake-lyric land of Algonquin;
Shadows from deep, frosty fissures whose waters
Slip from their turbulent life to the hill-cradled Shuswap;
Leaves of the red-limbed arbutus and roses of yellow and red,
Leaning low to the sea in Victoria,
The all-lovely lyric of cities.
And, through all these colorful threads of my song,
Tolerance, truth, and the kiss of full brotherhood!

I am the herald of new things in a new land.
The light of my song blinds the bats and the night-owls.
I tear from all men their false trappings
And they in their anger revile me.
The disciples of Cant feel my words in their hearts,
As a dead tree that knows not sunlight from moonlight,
Like the dancing of rain upon water
I run with a song in my feet.

Who then shall hear me?
Men with brown limbs who rise up with joy to the sun
At the dawn; children who know a pure song
From their own flowing rhythm of flesh;
Old men who hunger for youth;
Young men who thirst for the blue, living waters of life.

I am forever the foe of Intolerance,
Hating her soul with a hatred undying.
I am a renegade, I am a highwayman,
I am a plunderer, I am a vagabond.
I am a pirate, a gay, laughing, profligate pirate
Sailing the seas of delight, where my loot
Is diamonds of sunlight and the cold pearls of the moon.

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