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Books by Whitman



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THOUGHTS.

1

OF these years I sing,
How they pass and have pass'd, through convuls'd
pains, as through parturitions;
How America illustrates birth, muscular youth, the
promise, the sure fulfillment, the Absolute Suc-
cess, 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
Western States—or see freedom or spirituality—
or hold any faith in results,
(But I see the Athletes—and I see the results of the war
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;


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How society waits unform'd, and is for a while 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 parturitions
and transitions,
And how all people, sights, combinations, the Demo-
cratic masses, too, serve—and how every fact,
and war itself, with all its horrors, serves,
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, upward,
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, Col-
orado, Nevada, and the rest;
(Of afar, mounting the Northern Pacific to Sitka or
Aliaska;)
Of what the feuillage of America is the preparation for
—and of what all sights, North, South, East and
West, are;
Of This Union, soak'd, welded in blood—of the solemn
price paid—of the unnamed lost, ever present in
my mind;
—Of the temporary use of materials, for identity's sake,
Of the present, passing, departing—of the growth of
completer men 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;


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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 women there—of happiness in those high
plateaus, ranging three thousand miles, warm
and cold;
Of mighty inland cities yet unsurvey'd, and unsus-
pected, (as I am also, and as it must be;)
Of the new and good names—of the modern 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;
Of immense spiritual results, future years, far west,
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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