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PENSIVE ON HER DEAD GAZING, I HEARD
THE MOTHER OF ALL.

PENSIVE, on her dead gazing, I heard the Mother of All,
Desperate, on the torn bodies, on the forms covering the
battle-fields gazing;
As she call'd to her earth with mournful voice while she
stalk'd:
Absorb them well, O my earth, she cried—I charge you,
lose not my sons! lose not an atom;
And you streams, absorb them well, taking their dear
blood;
And you local spots, and you airs that swim above
lightly,
And all you essences of soil and growth—and you, O
my rivers' depths;
And you mountain sides—and the woods where my
dear children's blood, trickling, redden'd;
And you trees, down in your roots, to bequeath to all
future trees,
My dead absorb—my young men's beautiful bodies ab-
sorb—and their precious, precious, precious
blood;
Which holding in trust for me, faithfully back again give
me, many a year hence,
In unseen essence and odor of surface and grass, centu-
ries hence;
In blowing airs from the fields, back again give me my
darlings—give my immortal heroes;
Exhale me them centuries hence—breathe me their
breath—let not an atom be lost;
O years and graves! O air and soil! O my dead, an
aroma sweet!
Exhale them perennial, sweet death, years, centuries
hence.

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