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Books by Whitman



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23 — Poem of Remembrances for A Girl or A Boy of These States.

REMEMBER the organic compact of These
States!
Remember the pledge of the Old Thirteen thence-
forward to the rights, life, liberty, equality, of
man!
Remember what was promulged by the founders,
ratified by The States, signed in black and
white by the Commissioners, read by Wash-
ington at the head of the army!
Remember the purposes of the founders!—Re-
member Washington!
Remember the copious humanity streaming from
every direction toward America!
Remember the hospitality that belongs to nations
and men!—(Cursed be nation, woman, man,
without hospitality!)
Remember, government is to subserve individuals!
Not any, not the President, is to have one jot more
than you or me,
Not any habitan of America is to have one jot less
than you or me.



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Anticipate when the thirty or fifty millions are to
become the hundred, or two hundred, or five
hundred millions, of equal freemen and free-
women, amicably joined.

Recall ages—One age is but a part—ages are
but a part,
Recall the angers, bickerings, delusions, supersti-
tions of the idea of caste,
Recall the bloody cruelties and crimes.

Anticipate the best women!
I say an unnumbered new race of hardy and well-
defined women are to spread through all
These States,
I say a girl fit for These States must be free,
capable, dauntless, just the same as a boy.

Anticipate your own life—retract with merciless
power,
Shirk nothing—retract in time—Do you see those
errors, diseases, weaknesses, lies, thefts?
Do you see that lost character?—Do you see
decay, consumption, rum-drinking, dropsy,
fever, mortal cancer or inflammation?
Do you see death, and the approach of death?

Think of the soul!
I swear to you that body of yours gives proportions
to your soul somehow to live in other spheres,


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I do not know how, but I know it is so.
Think of loving and being loved!
I swear to you, whoever you are, you can interfuse
yourself with such things that everybody that
sees you shall look longingly upon you!

Think of the past!
I warn you that in a little while others will find
their past in you and your times.

The race is never separated—nor man nor woman
escapes,
All is inextricable—things, spirits, nature, nations,
you too—from precedents you come.

Recall the ever-welcome defiers! (The mothers
precede them;)
Recall the sages, poets, saviours, inventors, law-
givers, of the earth,
Recall Christ, brother of rejected persons —
brother of slaves, felons, idiots, and of insane
and diseased persons.

Think of the time when you was not yet born!
Think of times you stood at the side of the dying!
Think of the time when your own body will be
dying!

Think of spiritual results!


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Sure as the earth swims through the heavens,
does every one of its objects pass into
spiritual results!

Think of manhood, and you to be a man!
Do you count manhood, and the sweet of manhood,
nothing?

Think of womanhood, and you to be a woman!
The creation is womanhood,
Have I not said that womanhood involves all?
Have I not told how the universe has nothing
better than the best womanhood?

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