Published Works

Books by Whitman



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TO THEE, OLD CAUSE!

1To thee, old Cause!
Thou peerless, passionate, good cause!
Thou stern, remorseless, sweet Idea!
Deathless throughout the ages, races, lands!
After a strange, sad war—great war for thee,
(I think all war through time was really fought, and
ever will be really fought, for thee;)
These chants for thee—the eternal march of thee.

2Thou orb of many orbs!
Thou seething principle! Thou well-kept, latent germ!
Thou centre!


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Around the idea of thee the strange sad war revolv-
ing,
With all its angry and vehement play of causes,
(With yet unknown results to come, for thrice a thou-
sand years,)
These recitatives for thee—my Book and the War are
one,
Merged in its spirit I and mine—as the contest hinged
on thee,
As a wheel on its axis turns, this Book, unwitting to
itself,
Around the Idea of thee.

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