Whoever you are, holding me now in hand,
Without one thing, all will be useless,
I give you fair warning, before you attempt me further,
I am not what you supposed, but far different.
Who is he that would become my follower?
Who would sign himself a candidate for my affections?
The way is suspicious—the result uncertain, perhaps destructive;
You would have to give up all else—I alone would expect to be your
God, sole and exclusive,
Your novitiate would even then be long and exhausting,
The whole past theory of your life, and all conformity to the lives
around you, would have to be abandoned
Therefore release me now, before troubling yourself any further—Let
go your hand from my shoulders,
Put me down, and depart on your way.
But these leaves conning, you con at peril,
For these leaves, and me, you will not understand,
They will elude you at first, and still more afterward—I will
certainly elude you,
Even while you should think you had unquestionably caught me, behold
Already you see I have escaped from you.
Nor will my poems do good only—they will do just as much evil,
For all is useless without that which you may guess at many times and
not hit—that which I hinted at;
Therefore release me, and depart on your way.