Published Works

Books by Whitman



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THOUGHTS.


1.

OF these years I sing,
How they pass through convuls'd pains, as through
parturitions;
How America illustrates birth, gigantic youth, the
promise, the sure fulfilment, despite of people
—Illustrates evil as well as good;
How many hold despairingly yet to the models de-
parted, caste, myths, obedience, compulsion, and
to infidelity;
How few see the arrived models, the Athletes, The
States—or see freedom or spirituality—or hold
any faith in results,
(But I see the Athletes—and I see the results glorious
and inevitable—and they again leading to other
results;)
How the great cities appear—How the Democratic
masses, turbulent, wilful, as I love them,
How the whirl, the contest, the wrestle of evil with
good, the sounding and resounding, keep on
and on;
How society waits unform'd, and is between things
ended and things begun;
How America is the continent of glories, and of the
triumph of freedom, and of the Democracies,
and of the fruits of society, and of all that is
begun;
And how The States are complete in themselves—
And how all triumphs and glories are complete
in themselves, to lead onward,
And how these of mine, and of The States, will in
their turn be convuls'd, and serve other par-
turitions and transitions,
And how all people, sights, combinations, the Demo-
cratic masses, too, serve—and how every fact
serves,


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And how now, or at any time, each serves the exquisite
transition of Death.


2.

OF seeds dropping into the ground—of birth,
Of the steady concentration of America, inland, up-
ward, to impregnable and swarming places,
Of what Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and the rest, are
to be,
Of what a few years will show there in Nebraska,
Colorado, Nevada, and the rest;
Of what the feuillage of America is the preparation
for—and of what all the sights, North, South,
East and West, are;
Of the temporary use of materials, for identity's
sake,
Of departing—of the growth of a mightier race than
any yet,
Of myself, soon, perhaps, closing up my songs by
these shores,
Of California—of Oregon—and of me journeying to
live and sing there;
Of the Western Sea—of the spread inland between it
and the spinal river,
Of the great pastoral area, athletic and feminine,
Of all sloping down there where the fresh free giver,
the mother, the Mississippi flows,
Of future men and women there—of happiness in
those high plateaus, ranging three thousand
miles, warm and cold;
Of cities yet unsurvey'd and unsuspected, (as I am
also, and as it must be;)
Of the new and good names—of the strong develop-
ments—of inalienable homesteads;
Of a free and original life there—of simple diet and
clean and sweet blood;
Of litheness, majestic faces, clear eyes, and perfect
physique there;


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Of immense spiritual results, future years, each side
of the Anahuacs;
Of these leaves, well understood there, (being made
for that area;)
Of the native scorn of grossness and gain there;
(O it lurks in me night and day—What is gain, after
all, to savageness and freedom?)

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