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Books by Whitman



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14.

1POETS to come!
Not to-day is to justify me, and Democracy, and
what we are for,
But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental,
greater than before known,
You must justify me.



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2Indeed, if it were not for you, what would I be?
What is the little I have done, except to arouse you?

3I depend on being realized, long hence, where the
broad fat prairies spread, and thence to Oregon
and California inclusive,
I expect that the Texan and the Arizonian, ages
hence, will understand me,
I expect that the future Carolinian and Georgian will
understand me and love me,
I expect that Kanadians, a hundred, and perhaps
many hundred years from now, in winter, in the
splendor of the snow and woods, or on the icy
lakes, will take me with them, and permanently
enjoy themselves with me.

4Of to-day I know I am momentary, untouched—I
am the bard of the future,
I but write one or two indicative words for the future,
I but advance a moment, only to wheel and hurry
back in the darkness.

5I am a man who, sauntering along, without fully
stopping, turns a casual look upon you, and then
averts his face,
Leaving it to you to prove and define it,
Expecting the main things from you.


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