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YEARS OF THE UNPERFORM'D.

YEARS of the unperform'd! your horizon rises—I see it
parting away for more august dramas;
I see not America only—I see not only Liberty's nation,
but other nations preparing;
I see tremendous entrances and exits—I see new com-
binations—I see the solidarity of races;
I see that force advancing with irresistible power on the
world's stage;
(Have the old forces played their parts? are the acts
suitable to them closed?)
I see Freedom, completely arm'd, and victorious, and
very haughty, with Law by her side, both issuing
forth against the idea of caste;
—What historic denouements are these we so rapidly
approach?
I see men marching and countermarching by swift mil-
lions;
I see the frontiers and boundaries of the old aristocracies
broken;
I see the landmarks of European kings removed;
I see this day the People beginning their landmarks, (all
others give way;)
Never were such sharp questions ask'd as this day;
Never was average man, his soul, more energetic, more
like a God;
Lo, how he urges and urges, leaving the masses no
rest;
His daring foot is on land and sea everywhere—he col-
onizes the Pacific, the archipelagoes;
With the steam-ship, the electric telegraph, the news-
paper, the wholesale engines of war,
With these, and the world-spreading factories, he inter-
links all geography, all lands;


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—What whispers are these, O lands, running ahead of
you, passing under the seas?
Are all nations communing? is there going to be but
one heart to the globe?
Is humanity forming, en-masse?—for lo! tyrants trem-
ble, crowns grow dim;
The earth, restive, confronts a new era, perhaps a gen-
eral divine war;
No one knows what will happen next—such portents
fill the days and nights;
Years prophetical! the space ahead as I walk, as I vain-
ly try to pierce it, is full of phantoms;
Unborn deeds, things soon to be, project their shapes
around me;
This incredible rush and heat—this strange extactic
fever of dreams, O years!
Your dreams, O years, how they penetrate through me!
(I know not whether I sleep or wake!)
The perform'd America and Europe grow dim, retiring
in shadow behind me,
The unperform'd, more gigantic than ever, advance, ad-
vance upon me.

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