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SO LONG!

1

1TO conclude—I announce what comes after me;
I announce mightier offspring, orators, days, and then,
for the present, depart.

2I remember I said, before my leaves sprang at all,
I would raise my voice jocund and strong, with reference
to consummations.

3When America does what was promis'd,
When there are plentiful athletic bards, inland and
seaboard,
When through These States walk a hundred millions of
superb persons,
When the rest part away for superb persons, and con-
tribute to them,
When breeds of the most perfect mothers denote
America,
Then to me and mine our due fruition.

4I have press'd through in my own right,
I have sung the Body and the Soul—War and Peace
have I sung,
And the songs of Life and of Birth—and shown that
there are many births:
I have offer'd my style to every one—I have journey'd
with confident step;
While my pleasure is yet at the full, I whisper, So long!
And take the young woman's hand, and the young
man's hand, for the last time.


2

5I announce natural persons to arise;
I announce justice triumphant;


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I announce uncompromising liberty and equality;
I announce the justification of candor, and the justifica-
tion of pride.

6I announce that the identity of These States is a
single identity only;
I announce the Union more and more compact, indis-
soluble;
I announce splendors and majesties to make all the
previous politics of the earth insignificant.

7I announce adhesiveness—I say it shall be limitless,
unloosen'd;
I say you shall yet find the friend you were looking for.

8I announce a man or woman coming—perhaps you
are the one, (So long!)
I announce the great individual, fluid as Nature, chaste,
affectionate, compassionate, fully armed.

9I announce a life that shall be copious, vehement,
spiritual, bold;
I announce an end that shall lightly and joyfully meet
its translation;
I announce myriads of youths, beautiful, gigantic, sweet-
blooded;
I announce a race of splendid and savage old men.


3

10O thicker and faster! (So long!)
O crowding too close upon me;
I foresee too much—it means more than I thought;
It appears to me I am dying.

11Hasten throat, and sound your last!
Salute me—salute the days once more. Peal the old
cry once more.

12Screaming electric, the atmosphere using,
At random glancing, each as I notice absorbing,


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Swiftly on, but a little while alighting,
Curious envelop'd messages delivering,
Sparkles hot, seed ethereal, down in the dirt dropping,
Myself unknowing, my commission obeying, to question
it never daring,
To ages, and ages yet, the growth of the seed leaving,
To troops out of me, out of the army, the war arising—
they the tasks I have set promulging,
To women certain whispers of myself bequeathing—
their affection me more clearly explaining,
To young men my problems offering—no dallier I—I
the muscle of their brains trying,
So I pass—a little time vocal, visible, contrary;
Afterward, a melodious echo, passionately bent for—
(death making me really undying;)
The best of me then when no longer visible—for toward
that I have been incessantly preparing.

13What is there more, that I lag and pause, and crouch
extended with unshut mouth?
Is there a single final farewell?


4

14My songs cease—I abandon them;
From behind the screen where I hid, I advance person-
ally, solely to you.

15Camerado! This is no book;
Who touches this, touches a man;
(Is it night? Are we here alone?)
It is I you hold, and who holds you;
I spring from the pages into your arms—decease calls
me forth.

16O how your fingers drowse me!
Your breath falls around me like dew—your pulse lulls
the tympans of my ears;
I feel immerged from head to foot;
Delicious—enough.



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17Enough, O deed impromptu and secret!
Enough, O gliding present! Enough, O summ'd-up
past!


5

18Dear friend, whoever you are, take this kiss,
I give it especially to you—Do not forget me;
I feel like one who has done work for the day, to retire
awhile;
I receive now again of my many translations—from my
avataras ascending—while others doubtless await
me;
An unknown sphere, more real than I dream'd, more
direct, darts awakening rays about me—So long!
Remember my words—I may again return,
I love you—I depart from materials;
I am as one disembodied, triumphant, dead.


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