Published Works

Books by Whitman



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 354] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -




8.

LONG I thought that knowledge alone would suffice
me—O if I could but obtain knowledge!
Then my lands engrossed me—Lands of the prairies,
Ohio's land, the southern savannas, engrossed
me—For them I would live—I would be their
orator;
Then I met the examples of old and new heroes—I
heard of warriors, sailors, and all dauntless per-
sons—And it seemed to me that I too had it
in me to be as dauntless as any—and would
be so;
And then, to enclose all, it came to me to strike up
the songs of the New World—And then I be-
lieved my life must be spent in singing;
But now take notice, land of the prairies, land of
the south savannas, Ohio's land,
Take notice, you Kanuck woods—and you Lake
Huron—and all that with you roll toward
Niagara—and you Niagara also,
And you, Californian mountains—That you each
and all find somebody else to be your singer of
songs,
For I can be your singer of songs no longer—One
who loves me is jealous of me, and withdraws me
from all but love,
With the rest I dispense—I sever from what I
thought would suffice me, for it does not—it is
now empty and tasteless to me,
I heed knowledge, and the grandeur of The States,
and the example of heroes, no more,


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 355] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



I am indifferent to my own songs—I will go with
him I love,
It is to be enough for us that we are together—We
never separate again.

Comments?

Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.