Published Works

Books by Whitman



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 25a] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -




PIONEERS!
O PIONEERS!

1

    COME, my tan-faced children,
Follow well in order, get your weapons ready;
Have you your pistols? have you your sharp edged
axes?
Pioneers! O pioneers!


2

   For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of
danger,
We, the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


3

   O you youths, western youths,
So impatient, full of action, full of manly pride and
friendship,
Plain I see you, western youths, see you tramping with
the foremost,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


4

   Have the elder races halted?
Do they droop and end their lesson, wearied, over there
beyond the seas?
We take up the task eternal, and the burden, and the
lesson,
Pioneers! O pioneers!




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 26a] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



5

   All the past we leave behind;
We debouch upon a newer, mightier world, varied
world;
Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and
the march,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


6

   We detachments steady throwing,
Down the edges, through the passes, up the mountains
steep,
Conquering, holding, daring, venturing, as we go, the
unknown ways,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


7

   We primeval forests felling,
We the rivers stemming, vexing we, and piercing deep
the mines within;
We the surface broad surveying, and the virgin soil up-
heaving,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


8

   Colorado men are we,
From the peaks gigantic, from the great sierras and the
high plateaus,
From the mine and from the gully, from the hunting
trail we come,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


9

   From Nebraska, from Arkansas,
Central inland race are we, from Missouri, with the con-
tinental blood intervein'd;
All the hands of comrades clasping, all the Southern, all
the Northern,
Pioneers! O pioneers!




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 27a] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



10

   O resistless, restless race!
O beloved race in all! O my breast aches with tender
love for all!
O I mourn and yet exult—I am rapt with love for all,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


11

   Raise the mighty mother mistress,
Waving high the delicate mistress, over all the starry
mistress, (bend your heads all,)
Raise the fang'd and warlike mistress, stern, impassive,
weapon'd mistress,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


12

   See, my children, resolute children,
By those swarms upon our rear, we must never yield or
falter,
Ages back in ghostly millions, frowning there behind us
urging,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


13

   On and on, the compact ranks,
With accessions ever waiting, with the places of the
dead quickly fill'd,
Through the battle, through defeat, moving yet and
never stopping,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


14

   O to die advancing on!
Are there some of us to droop and die? has the hour
come?
Then upon the march we fittest die, soon and sure the
gap is fill'd,
Pioneers! O pioneers!




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 28a] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



15

   All the pulses of the world,
Falling in, they beat for us, with the western movement
beat;
Holding single or together, steady moving, to the front,
all for us,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


16

   Life's involv'd and varied pageants,
All the forms and shows, all the workmen at their
work,
All the seamen and the landsmen, all the masters with
their slaves,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


17

   All the hapless silent lovers,
All the prisoners in the prisons, all the righteous and
the wicked,
All the joyous, all the sorrowing, all the living, all the
dying,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


18

   I too with my soul and body,
We, a curious trio, picking, wandering on our way,
Through these shores, amid the shadows, with the
apparitions pressing,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


19

   Lo! the darting bowling orb!
Lo! the brother orbs around! all the clustering suns and
planets;
All the dazzling days, all the mystic nights with dreams,
Pioneers! O pioneers!




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 29a] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



20

   These are of us, they are with us,
All for primal needed work, while the followers there in
embryo wait behind,
We to-day's procession heading, we the route for travel
clearing,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


21

   O you daughters of the west!
O you young and elder daughters! O you mothers and
you wives!
Never must you be divided, in our ranks you move
united,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


22

   Minstrels latent on the prairies!
(Shrouded bards of other lands! you may sleep—you
have done your work;)
Soon I hear you coming warbling, soon you rise and
tramp amid us,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


23

   Not for delectations sweet;
Not the cushion and the slipper, not the peaceful and
the studious;
Not the riches safe and palling, not for us the tame en-
joyment,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


24

   Do the feasters gluttonous feast?
Do the corpulent sleepers sleep? have they lock'd and
bolted doors?
Still be ours the diet hard, and the blanket on the
ground,
Pioneers! O pioneers!




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [begin page 30a] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



25

   Has the night descended?
Was the road of late so toilsome? did we stop discour-
aged, nodding on our way?
Yet a passing hour I yield you, in your tracks to pause
oblivious,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


26

   Till with sound of trumpet,
Far, far off the day-break call—hark! how loud and
clear I hear it wind;
Swift! to the head of the army!—swift! spring to
your places,
Pioneers! O pioneers!


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.